King Philip II of Spain Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1527 - 1598*** Full Name: Philip II of Spain *** Nickname: Philip the Prudent *** Occupation: King of Spain, King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily and Duke of Milan, King of England and Ireland *** Date of Birth: Philip II of Spain was born May 21st 1527 *** Place of Birth: Philip II of Spain was born in the Palacio de Pimentel in Valladolid, Spain *** Family background: His father was Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire and his mother was Infant Isabella of Portugal, he had two siblings Maria, Holy Roman Empress and Joanna, Princess of Portugal *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in Valladolid and in the Castilian court *** Education: King Philip II of Spain began his education at the hands of Juan Martinez Silieco who was to be the future Archbishop of Toledo. Later his education was continued by Juan Cristobal Calvete de Estrella ***
King Philip II of Spain Fact 1: King Philip II of Spain was born on May 21st 1527 and during the 16th century period in history when Portugal and Spain were exploring the oceans of the world and colonizing new lands.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 2: Having been made the Duke of Milan in 1540 and having been observed by his father , his father decided he could be trusted to leave the regency of Spain in young Philip’s hands in 1543, his only words of wisdom to the young prince were “piety, patience, modesty, and distrust”.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 3: Having spent many years living in the Netherlands during the initial years of his reign, he decided it was time to return to Spain.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 4: During King Philip II's reign it would be known as the Golden Age because of the lasting legacy of literature, visual arts and music that he cultivated.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 5: By the time Philip became King, his father Charles V, had left the country in dire straits and a debt amounting to thirty six million ducats and caused him to default many times on loans.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 6: Where his father was of the medieval ruling classes, King Philip II’s era was entering into a more modern age.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 7: Largely he handled state affairs even when he was absent from court.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 8: As far as his foreign policies were concerned, King Philip II saw himself as the principal protector of Catholic Europe, against both the Protestant Reformation and the Ottoman Turks.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 9: Not once did he relent from the battle against heresy.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 10: His father had made the arrangements for King Philip II to wed Queen Mary I of England, but in order for Philip to be worthy of such a prize, his father bestowed upon him the kingdom of Jerusalem and the crown of Naples.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 11: As per the terms of the marriage agreement, Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain, he would enjoy the titles bestowed upon him through his marriage but only for as long as the marriage lasted. They would be joint signatories on Royal documents and England would not be permitted or obliged to support any war involving Spain.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 12: Philip finally succeeded to his father’s thrown in 1556 but by 1558 Mary had died and there had been no children of the marriage. On her death, her successor was Elizabeth I, and in order to try and keep his reign over England King Philip II sent a proposal of marriage to Elizabeth.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 13: Although for many years King Philip II maintained a peace between England and Spain, Elizabeth did not always side with catholic Spain. She would even begin to allow her ships to plunder the Spanish vessels when the opportunity arose. King Philip II of Spain Fact 16: The might of the Spanish Armada was no match for the English Navy. The Spanish failed to rendezvous with the Duke of Parma’s army and subsequently, although English ships were smaller than the Spanish, their ability to manoeuvre was far superior, as well as being far more tactically advanced and the weather conditions were also against them. King Philip II was deeply humiliated by the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 14: Philip’s next hope was with Mary, Queen of Scot, but when she was executed by Elizabeth, Philip’s hopes of a catholic Queen on the thrown of England were dead.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 15: It was in 1588 that King Philip II amassed his Spanish Armada and sent them to meet up with the Duke of Parma’s army in northern Europe and to attack England across the channel.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 17: Although England sent her own fleet to Spain the following year the mission failed and in time with Spain's rebuilt navy they were able to defend against the English against their attempts to seize their territories in the Caribbean.
King Philip II of Spain Fact 18: However, Philip’s health had been in decline for many years. On September 13th 1598 King Philip II of Spain died of cancer, in his home near Madrid.
Influence & Legacy: Under the watchful eye of King Philip II, Spain had reached its peak in the power game, increasing their quantities of silver and gold the mines of America as well the Portuguese riches of their spice trades.
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