Since his death he was presented by his defenders as an example of virtues, and as a fanatic and despotic monster by his enemies. This controversy was created by Philip himself and favoured by his actions because he refused to publish any biography during his life and ordered to destroy all his mail. The anglo-saxon history had qualified him as a fanatic, despotic, criminal, imperialist and genocidal person minimizing his victories up to anecdotes and glorifying his defeats.
His reign was characterized by the exploration of the world and by the expansion of territories through the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, taking the Spanish monarchy to be the first power in Europe and reaching its peak, and converted it in a worldwide empire because it was the first time in history that one country had territories in the five continents of the Earth.
Philip II of Austria or Habsburg, called the Prudent (Valladolid; 21 of May of 1527-San Lorenzo de El Escorial; 13 of September of 1598), was King of Spain since the 15 of Jaunary of 1556 until his death, of Napoles and Sicily since 1554 and of Portugal, as Philip I, since 1580, making the union of the dinasty. He was as well King of England because of his marriage with Maria I of England, between 1554 and 1558.
Son and heir of Charles I of Spain and of Isabel of Portugal, he died in 1598 at the age of 71, in the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
(24 October 1503 – 1 May 1539) was an Infanta of Portugal, and a Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Germany, Italy, Spain, Naples and Sicily, Duchess of Burgundy etc. as the wife of Charles V. She served as regent of Spain during the absence of her wife for long periods.
ISABEL OF PORTUGAL
(24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I as Holy Roman Emperor and his son Philip II as King of Spain in 1556.
THE BETTER OR THE WORST ?
He was first married with his cousin Maria Manuela of Portugal (1527-1545) the 15 of November of 1543. They had one single son:
-Charles of Austria (1545-1568) prince of Asturias.
He was secondly married with his uncle Maria I of England (1516-1558), the 25 of July of 1554. They didn’t had chlidren.
His third marriage was with Isabel of Valois (1549-1580), the 22 of June of 1559. They had two daughters:
-Isabel Clara Eugenia (1566-1633)
-Catalina Micaela (1567-1597)
He married in fourth place with Ana of Austria (1549-1580), the 14 of November of 1570. She was the daughter of his cousin Maximiliam II and his sister Maria of Austria and Portugal.They had five children:
-Fernando (1571-1578), prince of Asturias
-Charles Lorenzo (1573-1575)
-Diego Felix (1575-1582), prince of Asturias
-Philip(1578-1621), prince of Asturias, and future King of Spain as Philip III
Due to his high social position, she had close relations with the prince in that moment and later with king Philip II, all that estimulated some people to say she was the king’s lover, mainly during his marriage with the young Isabel of Valois, of which she was her friend. One thing we know for sure is that when she became widow (1573) she had relations with Antonio Perez, the King’s secretary.
Doña Ana de Mendoza y de la Cerda, Princess of Eboli, Duchess of Pastrana, (29 June 1540 – 2 February 1592) was a Spanish aristocrat, 2nd Princess of Mélito, 2nd Duchess of Francavilla and 3rd Countess of Aliano. She was considered one of Spain's greatest beauties, despite having lost an eye in a mock duel with a page when she was young.
The autor Maria Pilar Queralt del Hierro wrote this book in 2011 gathering the history of the powerful King who ruled over the first global empire but also who had a weakness, the women who were around him: mother, sisters, wifes, daughters, lovers and friends. Philip II wasn´t the cold man which traditional history transmited. Recent investigations show that he was a passionate and gallant boy, but also a good husband. He knew of prohibited loves and of marriages because of political reasons. In the pages of this book appear the four wifes of the monarch, Maria Manuela de Portugal, Maria Tudor, Isabel de Valois and Ana of Austria; lovers like Isabel of Osorio or Eufrasia Guzman; his daughters Catalina Micaela or Isabel Clara Eugenia and the great question: the princess of Eboli. Women that all were determinant in the life of the prudent King which will show an unknown man for a lot of people and, without doubt, much more atractive that is said in history.
Lorena Luis Muñoz