Huesca temática

Number 166 - April of 2012 Spanish language Principal menu

Felipe I of Aragon (2nd chapter)

The European expansion
of the Spanish sovereignty

    At the end of year 1553 it was announced Felipe's wedding with his "second aunt" Maria Ith of England. But the problem was that Felipe was only a prince and duke, and the marriage of the queen was unthinkable with someone of low status. The solution of Carlos Ith was to resign from the Kingdom of Naples in favor of his son. On July 24, 1554 Juan de Figueroa, special envoy of Carlos Ith and Regent of Naples, came to England with the formal investiture of Felipe like King of Naples and Duke of Milan. On the following day the betrothal were celebrated.
     On July 25, 1554, Felipe married the queen Maria Ith of England. At the end of the ceremony they were proclaimed: "Felipe and Maria, for the God grace, King and Queen of England, France, Naples, Jerusalem, Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, Princes of Spain and Sicily, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Milan, Burgundy and Brabante, Counts of Hapsburg, Flanders and the Tirol, in the first and second year of their reign".
      The matrimonial clauses were very rigid (comparable to those of Catholic Monarchs) to guarantee the entire independence of the Kingdom of England. Felipe had to respect the laws and the rights and privileges of the English people. Spain could not ask to England for war or economic help. Also, it was asking definitely to try to maintain the peace with France. If the marriage had a son, he would turn into heir of England, the Netherlands and Burgundy. If María would die being the heir an age minorr, the education would run in charge of the Englishmen. If Felipe was dying, Maria would receive a 60.000 pounds pension each year, but if Maria wouild be the first in dying, Felipe had to leave England resigning from all his rights on the throne.
     Felipe acted in accordance with the stipulated in the matrimonial contract and did not interfere in the government of his wife. During big part of his reign he was absent, especially from 1556 when his father abdicated in him the Crown of Spain. On November 17, 1558, Maria died without descent, leaving Felipe of being a King of England.
     In 1555 Carlos Ith, aged and tired, decided to resign from more territories in favor of his son Felipe. On October 22 of the same year, Carlos abdicated in Brussels like Sovereign, Big Master of the Order of the Toison of Gold. Three days later, in a grand and ostentatious ceremony before tens guests, the abdication occurred as Sovereign of Netherlands. The resignation to the County of Burgundy was on June 10, 1556.

     Carlos thought that Spain should defend from these territories the Germanic Roman Sacred Empire, weaker than France. In contrast to Castile, Aragon, Naples and Sicily, the Netherlands were not a part of the heredity of Catholic Monarchs, and saw the monarch like a foreign and distant king.
     The Northern States soon became into a big battlefield, helped by France and England, which exploited the situation of constant rebellion of Flanders to debilitate to the Hispanic Crown.
     On January 16, 1556, Carlos Ith in his private rooms and without any ceremony, transferred to Felipe the Crown of the Hispanic Kingdoms, Sicily and the Indies. Felipe was already redeeming government functions from 1544, after Carlos Ith would write in 1543, to his return to Spain, the Instructions of Palamós, which were preparing Felipe for the regency of the peninsular kingdoms until 1550 when this one was sixteen years old still.

 Felipe II of Spain  and I of Aragon

      Although during his youth he lived 12 years out of Spain in Switzerland, England, Flanders, Portugal, etc., ... once turned into King of Spain he fixed his residence in Madrid and promoted the role of this city as capital of all his kingdoms.
     In the year 1550 Felipe's appointment became finally public and on February 10 of the same year, Ferrante Gonzaga -at the time-, governor of Milan, took him an oath of loyalty in his name and in that of the city


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