Philip II of Spain, called the Prudent, was King of Spain, King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was also Duke of Milan, from 1555, he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. Known in Spain as Felipe el Prudente, his empire included territories on every continent then known to Europeans, 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 Philips time to reflect the extent of his dominion. During Philips reign there were separate state bankruptcies in 1557,1560,1569,1575 and this was partly the cause of the declaration of independence that created the Dutch Republic in 1581. The Ambassador went on to say He dresses very tastefully, the culture and courtly life of Spain were an important influence in his early life. He was tutored by Juan Martínez Siliceo, the future Archbishop of Toledo, Philip displayed reasonable aptitude in arms and letters alike. Later he would study with more illustrious tutors, including the humanist Juan Cristóbal Calvete de Estrella, though Philip had good command over Latin, Spanish, and Portuguese, he never managed to equal his father, Charles V, as a polyglot. While Philip was also a German archduke of the House of Habsburg, Philip felt himself to be culturally Spanish, he had been born in Spain and raised in the Castilian court, his native tongue was Spanish, and he preferred to live in Spain. This would ultimately 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. Philip was also close to his two sisters, María and Juana, and 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, Philips 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. The king-emperors interactions with his son during his stay in Spain convinced him of Philips precocity in statesmanship, Philip, who had previously been 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, Philip was also left with extensive written instructions that emphasised piety, patience, modesty, and distrust. These principles of Charles were gradually assimilated by his son, who would grow up to become grave, self-possessed, personally, Philip spoke softly and had an icy self-mastery, in the words of one of his ministers, he had a smile that cut like a sword. After living in the Netherlands in the years of his reign
Image: Philip II portrait by Titian
'The Baptism of Phillip II' in Valladolid, Spain. Historical ceiling preserved in Palacio de Pimentel (Valladolid).
Philip, in the prime of his life, by Giacomo Antonio Moro
Portrait of Philip II on 1/5 Philipsdaalder, struck 1566, Guelders, Low Countries