Philip II of Spain

Portrait of Philip II of Spain by Sofonisba Anguissola - 002b.jpg

Philip II of Spain (May 21 1527September 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

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