PHILIP II OF SPAIN
AS SEEN IN:
'The Adventures Of Sir Francis Drake'
AS PLAYED BY:
'Philip II' (Spanish: Felipe II; Portuguese: Filipe I ; 21 May 1527 – 13 September 1598) was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as Duke or Count.
Also known as 'Philip the Prudent', he ruled one of the world's largest empires which included territories in every continent then known to Europeans.
Philip was born in Valladolid, the son of Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, and his consort, Isabella of Portugal. During his reign, Spain was the foremost Western European power. Under his rule, Spain reached the height of its influence and power, directing explorations all around the world and settling the colonization of territories in all the known continents.
He was described by the Venetian ambassador Paolo Fagolo in 1563 as "slight of stature and roundfaced, with pale blue eyes, somewhat prominent lip, and pink skin, but his overall appearance is very attractive." The Ambassador went on to say "He dresses very tastefully, and everything that he does is courteous and gracious."
Philip was an austere and intelligent statesman. He was given to suspicion of members of his court, and was something of a meddlesome manager; but he was not the cruel tyrant painted by his opponents and subsequent Anglophile histories. He took great care in administering his vast dominions, and was known to intervene personally on behalf of the humblest of his subjects.