Philip II of Spain (1527 – 1598) was the King of Spain from 1556 to 1581. From 1554, he was also the King of Naples and Sicily as well as the Duke of Milan.
Most people do not know this, but Philip II of Spain was also married to Queen Mary I from 1554-1558, where he was also King of England and Ireland. In addition, from 1555, he was also the lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.
Known in Spain as “Philip the Prudent”, Philip II was one of the most renown kings in history as his empire included territories on every continent then known to Europeans at the time, including the Philippine Islands, which was named after him.
A devout Catholic, Philip II is also known for organising a huge naval expedition against Protestant England in 1588, known as the “Spanish Armada”. Philip II obtained Papal authority to overthrow Elizabeth, who had been excommunicated by Pope Pius V, but the Spanish Armada was unsuccessful, mostly due to storms and logistical problems with his ships.
During Philip II’s reign, the Spanish Empire reached the height of its influence and power, which is sometimes called the Golden Age. The expression, “The empire on which the sun never sets,” was coined during Philip’s reign to reflect the extent of his dominion in a vast portion of the World.
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