The son of the Charles V, the Holy Roman Emporor and Princess Isabella of Portugal, Philip II was born on May 21, 1527 in Valldolid, Spain. He was a shy young boy and mostly a loner. It is because he was an only child and his mother died when he was only 12 years old. And Emperor Charles V was mostly away to look after their very vast empire in the whole of Europe. So the young Philip II was mostly left with his tutors and teachers. He was tutored and educated in the sciences; French, Italian and Latin languages; mathematics; architecture; sculpture and painting.
He was likewise trained in horseback riding, fencing, sword fighting and lancing. When he turned 16 years old, Philip II was arranged to be married to Infanta Princess Maria of Portugal – who was also 16 years old. The marriage was held in November 1543 in Salamanca, Spain. It is however a big blow of sorrow to Philip II that his wife died after giving birth to their son, Don Carlos, in July 1545. It was said that Don Carlos turned out to be mentally incapacitated and this forced Philip II to incarcerate Don Carlos which caused his death in 1568.
On July 25, 1554, Philip II took the hands of Queen Mary I of England in marriage. The Queen is 11 years his senior and was truly besotted to Philip II. This was considered a “political marriage” because Spain has become part of the influences in England’s Catholicism. And, because of this deep love, it was Philip II who was able to convince Queen Mary I to patch up differences and reconcile with her sister, Princess Elizabeth of England. Charles V decided to retire and abdicate his throne as King of Spain in January 1556 and thus passed the crown to Philip II.
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By that time, he has already been endowed with kingship over the other parts of the empire of Charles V such as Naples, Netherlands, Sicily andMilan. Two years after he assumed the kingship of Spain, his wife, Queen Mary I died in November 1558. King Philip II proposed marriage to his wife’s sister, Queen Elizabeth I – but his proposal turned down. For this reason and due to the death of Queen Mary I, the relationship between England and Spain was severed. Again after two years, King Philip II offered to marry Elizabeth of Valois, France, in 1560. She is the daughter of Henry II.
Queen Elizabeth of Spain gave King Philip II with two daughters: Isabella Clara Eugenia, born in 1566 and Catherine Micaela, born in 1567. Queen Elizabeth died after a miscarriage in 1568. In 1570, King Philip II married his fourth wife, Anna, the daughter of his cousin, Emperor Maximilian II of Austria. They had 4 sons and one daughter. Sadly, 3 of their sons and their only daughter all died in their very young age. Only one son lived to adulthood to become the future King Philip III. From the time he assumed the throne, it was known to be the golden years of Spain as it achieves supremacy, prestige and power.
King Philip II dedicated himself to defending the Catholic faith all over the world. He was very opposed to heresy. The two pillars of his reign concentrated on the strength and propagation of the Catholic faith all over the world and the suppression of heresy. His campaign in the propagation of the Catholic faith included the persecution of the Christian moors in Spain on January 1567. In that same year, King Philip II quashed the Protestant uprising in Netherlands with the strength of his Spanish army. In South America, he conducted an inquisition in 1569.
The Spanish navy defeated the Turkish navy in the Mediterranean seas in 1571. King Philip II truly “was determined to support the Catholic Church” as he believes it to be a solemn duty entrusted to him by his father. BIBLIOGRAPHY Kurth, Godefroid. Philip II The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 15 Apr. 2009 <//www. newadvent. org/cathen/12002a. htm>. Hilliam, David. Philip II: King of Spain and Leader of the Counter- Reformation The Rosen Publishing Group, 2005
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