Portrait of Philip II (1527-1598), King of Spain (1556), King of Naples (1554), King of England (with Mary I) from 1554 to 1558, King of Portugal (1581), Lord of the Provinces of the Netherlands (1555), Duke of Milan (1540), Prince of Asturias (1528-1556), 1570
Philip II (Spanish: Felipe II; 21 May 1527 – 13 September 1598), was King of Spain (1556–98), King of Portugal (1581–98, as Philip I), King of Naples (from 1554), and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland (during his marriage to Queen Mary I from 1554–58). He was also Duke of Milan. 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. 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. Philip was described by the Venetian ambassador Paolo Fagolo in 1563 as "slight of stature and round-faced, 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."
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