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Philip II, King of Spain

Born in 1527, Philip became King of Spain on the abdication of his father Charles V. He ruled over a unified Spain and all its dominions in the New World, as well as the Netherlands and Naples and Sicily.

In 1554 he married his second wife Mary Tudor, Queen of England, by which marriage he and his father hoped to bring the English church back within the Catholic fold. On Mary's death he became the implacable enemy of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, which culminated in his preparation of an immense fleet, the Armada, which was, however, defeated in 1588.

Philip was responsible for building the Escorial, part palace, part monastery, outside of Madrid and was the patron of Titian and Antonis Mor. He was also a keen collector of paintings by Hieronymus Bosch.