Philip the Good
Philip the Good was Duke of Burgundy as Philip III from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty, to which all the 15th-century kings of France belonged. During his reign, Burgundy reached the apex of its prosperity and prestige and became a leading center of the arts. Philip is known in history for his administrative reforms, his patronage of Flemish artists such as Jan van Eyck and Franco-Flemish composers such as Gilles Binchois, the capture of Joan of Arc. In political affairs, he alternated between alliances with the English and the French in an attempt to improve his dynasty's position; as ruler of Flanders, Limburg, Hainaut, Zeeland and Namur, he played an important role in the history of the Low Countries. Born in 1396 in Dijon, Philip was the son of Margaret of Bavaria, his father succeeded Philip's grandfather Philip the Bold as Duke of Burgundy in 1404. On 28 January 1405, Philip was named Count of Charolais in appanage of the duke and became engaged on the same day, at the age of 8, to Michelle of Valois, a daughter of King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria.
They were married in June 1409. After Michelle's death in 1422, Philip married Bonne of Artois, a daughter of Philip of Artois, Count of Eu, the widow of his uncle, Philip II, Count of Nevers, in Moulins-les-Engelbert on 30 November 1424. Bonne of Artois is sometimes confused with Philip's biological aunt named Bonne, in part due to the papal dispensation required for the marriage, which made no distinction between a marital aunt and a biological aunt. Bonne of Artois lived only a year. Philip was married for a third time to Isabella of Portugal, a daughter of John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, in Bruges on 7 January 1430; this marriage produced three sons: Count of Charolais. Corneille and Anthony were his favorite bastard sons and successively bore the title Grand bâtard de Bourgogne. Philip became duke of Burgundy and count of Flanders and Franche-Comté upon the assassination of John the Fearless, his father, in 1419. Philip accused Charles, the Dauphin of France and Philip's brother-in-law, of planning the murder, which took place during a meeting between John and Charles at Montereau.
Because of this, he continued to prosecute the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War, which in turn became entangled in the larger Hundred Years' War. In 1420, Philip allied himself with Henry V of England under the Treaty of Troyes. In 1423, the marriage of Philip's sister Anne to John, Duke of Bedford, regent for Henry VI of England, strengthened the English alliance. On 23 May 1430, Philip's troops under the Count of Ligny captured Joan of Arc at Compiègne and sold her to the English, who orchestrated a heresy trial against her conducted by pro-Burgundian clerics. Despite this action against Joan of Arc, Philip's alliance with England was broken in 1435 when he signed the Treaty of Arras, which revoked the Treaty of Troyes and recognised Charles VII as king of France. Philip signed the treaty for a variety of reasons, one of which may have been a desire to be recognised as the preeminent duke in France; this action would prove a poor decision in the long term. Philip's defection to the French would prove not only catastrophic to the dual monarchy of England and France, but to his own domains as well, subordinating them to a powerful centralised Valois monarchy.
He attacked Calais, a possession of the English, but the alliance with Charles was broken in 1439. Philip supported the revolt of the French nobles the following year and offered shelter to the Dauphin Louis, who had rebelled against his father Charles VII. Philip was preoccupied with matters in his own territories and was involved directly in the Hundred Years' War between England and France, although he did play a role during a number of periods, such as the campaign against Compiègne during which his troops captured Joan of Arc, he incorporated Namur into Burgundian territory in 1429 and Hainault and Hol
Philip I of Castile
Philip of Habsburg, called the Handsome or the Fair, was Duke of Burgundy from 1482 to 1506 and the first member of the house of Habsburg to be King of Castile as Philip I. The son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I by his first wife Mary, Philip was less than four years old when his mother died, upon her death, he inherited the greater part of the Duchy of Burgundy and the Burgundian Netherlands as Philip IV. In 1496, his father arranged for him to marry Joanna of Castile, second daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, rulers of Aragon and Castile respectively. Around the same time, Philip's sister Margaret was given in marriage to Joanna's brother John, as part of an agreement between their fathers. Within four years after the wedding, Joanna became heir presumptive to Aragon and Castile, following the deaths of her brother, elder sister and infant nephew during that period. In 1504, aged 27, Philip became king of Castile jure uxoris when his mother-in-law died and Joanna succeeded her, he died only two years leaving his wife distraught with grief.
Philip was the first Habsburg monarch in Spain, is the progenitor of every monarch of Spain up to today. He died before his father, therefore never inherited his father's territories or became Holy Roman Emperor. However, his son Emperor Charles V united the Habsburg, Burgundian and Aragonese inheritances. Philip holds a special place in Habsburg history because he was the pivot around which the dynasty acquired a large portion of its extensive lands. By inheriting Burgundy from his mother and by acquiring much of Spain and its possessions in the New World by marriage to Joanna, Philip was instrumental in vastly enhancing the territories of the Habsburgs, his progeny would dominate European history for the next two centuries. Philip's wife Joanna was an elder sister to Catherine of Aragon, who married successively the brothers Arthur, Prince of Wales and King Henry VIII of England, he did once visit England, the young Prince Henry was much impressed with him. Indeed, Henry is said to have regarded Philip as providing a model of leadership towards which he aspired.
Philip was born in Bruges, the son of the future Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife Mary, Duchess of Burgundy. He was born in the County of Flanders during the reign of his grandfather Frederick III; the child was named in honour of his great-grandfather, Philip the Good, grandfather of his mother Mary. Philip was only four years old when his mother died in 1482, resulting in him succeeded her as ruler of the Burgundian possessions under the guardianship of his father. A period of turmoil ensued which witnessed sporadic hostilities between, the large towns of Flanders and the supporters of Maximilian. During this interregnum, Philip became caught up in events and was briefly sequestered in Bruges as part of the larger Flemish campaign to support their claims of greater autonomy, which they had wrested from Mary of Burgundy in an agreement known as the Great Privilege of 1477. By the early 1490s, the turmoil of the interregnum gave way to an uneasy stand-off, with neither French support for the cities of the Franc, nor Imperial support from Philip's grandfather, Emperor Frederick III proving decisive.
Both sides came to terms in the Treaty of Senlis in 1493, when Emperor Frederick died and Philip's father Maximilian became the new emperor. This smoothed over the internal power struggle as the two sides agreed to make the 15-year-old Philip crown prince in the following year. In 1494, Maximilian relinquished his regency under the terms of the Treaty of Senlis and Philip, aged 16, took over the rule of the Burgundian lands himself, although in practice authority was derived from a council of Burgundian notables. On 20 October 1496, he married Joanna, daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, in Lier, Belgium; the marriage was one of a set of family alliances between the Habsburgs and the Trastámara, designed to strengthen against growing French power, which had increased thanks to the policies of Louis XI and the successful assertion of regal power after war with the League of the Public Weal. The matter became more urgent after Charles VIII's invasion of Italy.
Philip's sister Margaret married John, Prince of Asturias, only son of Ferdinand and Isabella and heir apparent to the unified crowns of Castile and Aragon. The double alliance was never intended to let the Spanish kingdoms fall under Habsburg control. At the time of her marriage to Philip, Joanna was third in line to the throne, with John and their sister Isabella married and hopeful of progeny. In 1500, shortly after the birth of Joanna and Philip's second child, in Flanders, the succession to the Castilian and Aragonese crowns was thrown into turmoil; the heir apparent, had died in 1497 shortly after his marriage to Margaret of Austria. The crown thereby seemed destined to devolve upon his and Joanna's elder sister Isabella, wife of Manuel I of Portugal, she died in 1498, while giving birth to a son named Miguel da Paz, to whom succession to the united crowns of Castile and Portugal now fell. The succession to the Castilian and Aragonese crowns now fell to Joanna; because Ferdinand could produce another heir, the Cortes of Aragon refused to recognize Joanna as heir presumptive to the Kingdom of Aragon.
In the Kingdom of Castile, the succession was clear. Moreover, there was no Salic tradition which the Castilian Cortes could use to thwart the succession passing to Joa
Philippe of Belgium
Philippe or Filip is the King of the Belgians, having ascended the throne on 21 July 2013, following his father's abdication. He is the eldest child of King Albert II, whom he succeeded upon Albert's abdication for health reasons, Queen Paola, he married Countess Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz. King Philippe's elder daughter, Princess Elisabeth, is first in the line of succession. Philippe was born on 15 April 1960 during the reign of King Baudouin of Belgium, his father, Prince Albert, Prince of Liège was the second son of King Leopold III of Belgium and a younger brother of Baudouin. His mother, Princess of Liège, is a daughter of Italian aristocrat Fulco VIII, Prince Ruffo di Calabria, 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda, his mother descends from the French House of La Fayette, the king is a descendant of Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette and Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles. He was born at the Belvédère Castle in Laeken north of Brussels, he was baptised one month at the church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in Brussels on 17 May, named Philippe after his great-great-grandfather Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders.
His godparents were his paternal grandfather, King Leopold III, his maternal grandmother, Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria. From 1978 to 1981, Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th "Promotion Toutes Armes". On 26 September 1980, he took the officer's oath, he continued his education at Trinity College, Oxford and he attended graduate school at Stanford University, where he graduated in 1985 with an MA degree in political science. He obtained his certificates as a parachutist and a commando. In 1989, he attended a series of special sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute; the same year, he was promoted to colonel. In 1993 King Baudouin died in Spain, Albert became the new king, Philippe became the new heir apparent, titled Duke of Brabant. On 25 March 2001, the prince was appointed to the rank of major-general in the Land Component and the Air Component and to the rank of rear-admiral in the Naval Component. Philippe married Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz, daughter of a Walloon Count of Belgian noble family and female line descendant of Polish noble families such as the Princes Sapieha and Counts Komorowski, on 4 December 1999 in Brussels, in a civil ceremony at the Brussels Town Hall and a religious ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint Michel and Saint Gudule in Brussels.
They have four children: Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, born 25 October 2001 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels Prince Gabriel, born 20 August 2003 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels Prince Emmanuel, born 4 October 2005 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels Princess Eléonore, born 16 April 2008 at Erasmus Hospital in Brussels On 6 August 1993, the government named Philippe as honorary chairman of the Belgian Foreign Trade Board. He succeeded his father, honorary chairman of the BFTB since 1962. On 3 May 2003, Philippe was appointed honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency, replacing the BFTB. In this capacity, Philippe has headed more than 60 economic missions. Upon his accession as seventh King of the Belgians, this role was taken over by his sister Princess Astrid. King Albert II announced on 3 July 2013 that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21 July 2013. One hour after King Albert II's abdication, Prince Philippe was sworn in as King of the Belgians, his eldest child, Princess Elisabeth became his heir apparent and is expected to become Belgium's first queen regnant.
26 September 1980 – 21 March 1983: Belgian Air Force, Second Lieutenant Belgian Army, Second Lieutenant Belgian Navy, no rank 21 March 1983 – 1 December 1989: Belgian Air Force, Captain Belgian Army, Captain Belgian Navy, no rank 1 December 1989 – 5 April 2001: Belgian Air Force, Colonel Belgian Army, Colonel Belgian Navy, no rank 5 April 2001 – 25 March 2010: Belgian Air Component, Major General Belgian Land Component, Major General Belgian Marine Component, Divisional Admiral 15 March 2010 – 21 July 2013: Belgian Air Component, Lieutenant General Belgian Land Component, Lieutenant General Belgian Marine Component, Vice Admiral Since 21 July 2013: Belgian Air Component, General Belgian Land Component, General Belgian Marine Component, Admiral 15 April 1960 – 9 August 1993: His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium 9 August 1993 – 21 July 2013: His Royal Highness The Duke of Brabant 21 July 2013 – present: His Majesty The King of the Belgians Line of succession to the Belgian throne Prince Philippe Fund Official biography from the Belgian Royal Family website DHnet Article about Prince Philippe's education and military career
Philip V of Spain
Philip V was King of Spain from 1 November 1700 to his abdication in favour of his son Louis on 14 January 1724, from his reaccession of the throne upon his son's death on 6 September 1724 to his own death on 9 July 1746. Before his reign, Philip occupied an exalted place in the royal family of France as a grandson of King Louis XIV, his father, Grand Dauphin, had the strongest genealogical claim to the throne of Spain when it became vacant in 1700. However, since neither the Grand Dauphin nor Philip's older brother, Duke of Burgundy, could be displaced from their place in the succession to the French throne, the Grand Dauphin's maternal uncle King Charles II of Spain named Philip as his heir in his will, it was well known that the union of France and Spain under one monarch would upset the balance of power in Europe, such that other European powers would take steps to prevent it. Indeed, Philip's accession in Spain provoked the 13-year War of the Spanish Succession, which continued until the Treaty of Utrecht forbade any future possibility of unifying the French and Spanish thrones.
Philip was the first member of the French House of Bourbon to rule as king of Spain. The sum of his two reigns, 45 years and 21 days, is the longest in modern Spanish history. Philip was born at the Palace of Versailles in France the second son of Louis, Grand Dauphin, the heir apparent to the throne of France, his wife Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria, Dauphine Victoire, he was Duke of Burgundy, the father of Louis XV of France. At birth, Philip was created Duke of Anjou, a traditional title for younger sons in the French royal family, he would be known by this name. Since Philip's older brother, the Duke of Burgundy, was second in line to the French throne after his father, there was little expectation that either he or his younger brother Charles, Duke of Berry, would rule over France. Philip lived his first years under the supervision of the royal governess Louise de Prie, was after, tutored with his brothers by François Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambrai; the three were educated by Paul de Beauvilliers.
In 1700 King Charles II of Spain died childless. His will named as successor the 17-year-old Philip, grandson of Charles' half-sister Maria Theresa, the first wife of Louis XIV. Upon any possible refusal, the crown of Spain would be offered next to Philip's younger brother, the Duke of Berry to the Archduke Charles of Austria Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI. Philip had the better genealogical claim to the Spanish throne, because his Spanish grandmother and great-grandmother were older than the ancestors of the Archduke Charles of Austria. However, the Austrians maintained that Philip's grandmother had renounced the Spanish throne for herself and her descendants as part of her marriage contract; the French claimed. After a long Royal Council meeting in France at which the Dauphin spoke up in favour of his son's rights, it was agreed that Philip would ascend the throne, but he would forever renounce his claim to the throne of France for himself and his descendants; the Royal Council decided to accept the provisions of the will of Charles II naming Philip king of Spain, the Spanish ambassador was called in and introduced to his new king.
The ambassador, along with his son, knelt before Philip and made a long speech in Spanish, which Philip did not understand. On 2 November 1701 the 18-year-old Philip married the 13-year-old Maria Luisa of Savoy, as chosen by his grandfather King Louis XIV, by an old man of 63, she was the daughter of Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy, Philip's second cousin Anne Marie d'Orléans the parents of the Duchess of Burgundy, Philip's sister-in-law. There was a proxy ceremony at Turin, the capital of the Duchy of Savoy, another one at Versailles on 11 September. Maria Luisa proved popular as Queen of Spain, she served as regent for her husband on several occasions. Her most successful term was when Philip was away touring his Italian domains for nine months in 1702, when she was just 14 years old. On entering Naples that year he was presented with Bernini's Boy with a Dragon by Carlo Barberini. In 1714, Maria Luisa died at the age of 26 from tuberculosis, a devastating emotional blow to her husband; the actions of Louis XIV heightened the fears of the English, the Dutch and the Austrians, among others.
In February 1701, Louis XIV caused the Parlement of Paris to register a decree that if Philip's elder brother, the Petit Dauphin Louis, died without an heir Philip would surrender the throne of Spain for the succession to the throne of France, ensuring dynastic continuity in Europe's greatest land power. However, a second act of the French king "justified a hostile interpretation": pursuant to a treaty with Spain, Louis occupied several towns in the Spanish Netherlands; this was the spark that ignited the powder keg created by the unresolved issues of the War of the League of Augsburg and the acceptance of the Spanish inheritance by Louis XIV for his grandson. The War of the Spanish Succession began. Concern among other European powers that Spain and France united under a single Bourbon monarch would upset the balance of power pitted powerful France and weak Spain against the Grand Alliance of England, the Netherlands and Austria. Inside Spain, the Crown of Castile supported Philip of France.
On the other hand, the majority of the nobility of the Crown of Aragon supported Charles of
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV of Spain was King of Spain and Portugal as Philip III. He ascended the thrones in 1621 and reigned in Spain until his death and in Portugal until 1640. Philip is remembered for his patronage of the arts, including such artists as Diego Velázquez, his rule over Spain during the Thirty Years' War. On the eve of his death in 1665, the Spanish Empire had reached 12.2 million square kilometers in area but in other respects was in decline, a process to which Philip contributed with his inability to achieve successful domestic and military reform. Philip IV was born in Royal Palace of Valladolid, was the eldest son of Philip III and his wife, Margaret of Austria. In 1615, at the age of 10, Philip was married to 13-year-old Elisabeth of France, although the relationship does not appear to have been close. Philip had seven children by Elisabeth, with only one being a son, Balthasar Charles, who died at the age of sixteen in 1646; the death of his son shocked the king, who appears to have been a good father by the standards of the day.
Elisabeth was able to conspire with other Spanish nobles to remove Olivares from the court in 1643, for a brief period she held considerable influence over Philip. Philip remarried following the deaths of both Elisabeth and his only legitimate heir, his choice of his second wife, Maria Anna known as Mariana, Philip's niece and the daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand, was guided by politics and Philip's desire to strengthen the relationship with Habsburg Austria. Maria Anna bore him five children, but only two survived to adulthood, a daughter Margarita Teresa, born in 1651, the future Charles II of Spain in 1661 — but the latter was sickly and considered in frequent danger of dying, making the line of inheritance uncertain. Perceptions of Philip's personality have altered over time. Victorian authors were inclined to portray him as a weak individual, delegating excessively to his ministers, ruling over a debauched Baroque court. Victorian historians attributed the early death of Baltasar to debauchery, encouraged by the gentlemen entrusted by the king with his education.
The doctors who treated the Prince at that time in fact diagnosed smallpox, although modern scholars attribute his death to appendicitis. Historians' estimation of Philip improved in the 20th century, with comparisons between Philip and his father being positive — some noting that he possessed much more energy, both mental and physical, than his diffident father. Philip was idealised by his contemporaries as the model of Baroque kingship. Outwardly he maintained a bearing of rigid solemnity. Philip had a strong sense of his'royal dignity', but was extensively coached by Olivares in how to resemble the Baroque model of a sovereign, which would form a key political tool for Philip throughout his reign. Philip was a fine horseman, a keen hunter and a devotee of bull-fighting, all central parts of royal public life at court during the period. Philip appears to have had a lighter persona; when he was younger, he was said to have a keen sense of humour and a'great sense of fun'. He attended'academies' in Madrid throughout his reign — these were lighthearted literary salons, aiming to analyse contemporary literature and poetry with a humorous touch.
A keen theatre-goer, he was sometimes criticised by contemporaries for his love of these'frivolous' entertainments. Others have captured his private personality as'naturally kind and affable'; those close to him claimed he was academically competent, with a good grasp of Latin and geography, could speak French and Italian well. Like many of his contemporaries, including Olivares, he had a keen interest in astrology, his handwritten translation of Francesco Guicciardini's texts on political history still exists. Although interpretations of Philip's role in government have improved in recent years, Diego Velázquez's contemporary description of Philip's key weakness — that'he mistrusts himself, defers to others too much' — remains relevant. Although Philip's Catholic beliefs no longer attract criticism from English language writers, Philip is still felt to have been'unduly pious' in his personal life. Notably, from the 1640s onwards he sought the advice of a noted cloistered abbess, Sor María de Ágreda, exchanging many letters with her.
This did not stop Philip's becoming known for his numerous affairs with actresses. By the end of the reign, with the health of Carlos José in doubt, there was a real possibility of Juan José's making a claim on the throne, which added to the instability of the regency years. During the reign of Philip's father, Philip III, the royal court had been dominated by the Sandoval noble family, most strikingly by the Duke of Lerma, Philip III's principal favorite and chief minister for all of his reign. Philip IV came to power as the influence of the Sandovals was being undermined by a new noble coalition, led by Don Baltasar de Zúñiga. De
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands; the son of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, Philip was called "Felipe el Prudente" in Spain. During his reign, Spain reached the height of its power; this is sometimes called the Spanish 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. During Philip's reign there were separate state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1569, 1575, 1596; this was the cause of the declaration of independence that created the Dutch Republic in 1581. On 31 December 1584 Philip signed the Treaty of Joinville, with Henry I, Duke of Guise signing on behalf of the Catholic League. A devout Catholic, Philip saw himself as the defender of Catholic Europe against the Ottoman Empire and the Protestant Reformation.
He sent a large armada to invade Protestant England in 1588, with the strategic aim of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England and the establishment of Protestantism in England. He hoped to stop both English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering. Philip was described by the Venetian ambassador Paolo Fagolo in 1563 as "slight of stature and round-faced, with pale blue eyes, somewhat prominent lip, pink skin, but his overall appearance is attractive"; the Ambassador went on to say "He dresses tastefully, everything that he does is courteous and gracious." Besides Mary I, Philip was married three other times and widowed four times. The son of Charles I and V, King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor and his wife, Isabella of Portugal, Philip was born in the Spanish capital of Valladolid on 21 May 1527 at Palacio de Pimentel, owned by Don Bernardino Pimentel; the culture and courtly life of Spain were an important influence in his early life.
He was tutored by the future Archbishop of Toledo. Philip displayed reasonable aptitude in letters alike, he would study with more illustrious tutors, including the humanist Juan Cristóbal Calvete de Estrella. Though Philip had good command over Latin and Portuguese, he never managed to equal his father, Charles V, as a polyglot. While Philip was a German archduke of the House of Habsburg, he was seen as a foreigner in the Holy Roman Empire; the feeling was mutual. Philip felt himself to be culturally Spanish; this would impede his succession to the imperial throne. In April 1528, when Philip was eleven months old, he received the oath of allegiance as heir to the crown from the Cortes of Castile. From that time until the death of his mother Isabella in 1539, he was raised in the royal court of Castile under the care of his mother and one of her Portuguese ladies, Dona Leonor de Mascarenhas, to whom he was devotedly attached. Philip was close to his two sisters, María and Juana, to his two pages, the Portuguese nobleman Rui Gomes da Silva and Luis de Requesens, the son of his governor Juan de Zúñiga.
These men would serve Philip throughout their lives, as would Antonio Pérez, his secretary from 1541. Philip's martial training was undertaken by his governor, Juan de Zúñiga, a Castilian nobleman who served as the commendador mayor of Castile; the practical lessons in warfare were overseen by the Duke of Alba during the Italian Wars. Philip was present at the Siege of Perpignan in 1542 but did not see action as the Spanish army under Alba decisively defeated the besieging French forces under the Dauphin of France. On his way back to Castile, Philip received the oath of allegiance of the Aragonese Cortes at Monzón, his political training had begun a year under his father, who had found his son studious and prudent beyond his years, having decided to train and initiate him in the government of Spain. The king-emperor's interactions with his son during his stay in Spain convinced him of Philip's precocity in statesmanship, so he determined to leave in his hands the regency of Spain in 1543. Philip, made the Duke of Milan in 1540, began governing the most extensive empire in the world at the young age of sixteen.
Charles left Philip with experienced advisors—notably the secretary Francisco de los Cobos and the general Duke of Alba. Philip was left with extensive written instructions that emphasised "piety, patience and distrust." These principles of Charles were assimilated by his son, who would grow up to become grave, self-possessed and cautious. Philip spoke and had an icy self-mastery. After living in the Netherlands in the early years of his reign, Philip II decided to return to Spain. Although sometimes described as an absolute monarch, Philip faced many constitutional constraints on his authority, influenced by the growing strength of the bureaucracy; the Spanish Empire was not a single monarchy with one legal system but a federation of separate r