Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain (May 21 1527 – September 13 1598) was King of Spain from 1556 and of Portugal from 1581 (as Philip I, Filipe I). From 1554 he was King of Naples and Sicily as well as Duke of Milan. During his marriage to Queen Mary I (1554–58), he was also King of England and Ireland. From 1555, he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. Known in Spain as "Felipe el Prudente" ('"Philip the Prudent'"), his empire included territories on every continent then known to Europeans, including his namesake the Philippine Islands. During his reign, Spain reached the height of its influence and power. This is sometimes called the Golden Age. The expression, "the empire on which the sun never sets," was coined during Philip's time to reflect the extent of his dominion.
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- God, who has given me so many Kingdoms to govern, has not given me a son fit to govern them.
- David Maland, Europe in the seventeenth century (1966), p. 207.
- I would rather lose all my lands and a hundred lives than be king over heretics.
- David A. Pharies, A brief history of the Spanish language (2007), p. 147.
Quotes about Philip II
- He [King Philip II of Spain] is the mightiest enemy that England ever had, mightier than his father, the emperor Charles, or any other monarch of Christendom was these many years. … Her Majesty's special and most proper defence must be by ships. For ships of England, her Majesty is of her own proper ships so strong as the enemy shall not be able to land any power where her Majesty's navy shall be near to the enemy's navy. The ships of her subjects are also at this day both in number, in strength, in all captains and mariners, stronger than ever they were in memory of man.
- William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, memorandum of February 1588, quoted in Conyers Read, Lord Burghley and Queen Elizabeth (London: Jonathan Cape, 1960), pp. 418-9.