Possible Marriage Partners for Philip II of Spain

Hello!

I'm working on a timeline/novel and still hammering out some details. For Philip II of Spain, in this timeline marrying Mary I isn't on the table because she never becomes Queen of England.
So I have Philip marrying Maria of Portugal, Duchess of Viseu after the death of Maria Manuela. I have them married until 1560. So by this point, Elisabeth of Valois is probably married to Don Carlos, and her sister Claude is married to the Duke of Lorraine. So who would be the most likely candidate for Philip to marry in 1560?

Looking at the single women around this time, we've got:
Archduchess Magdalena b. 1532
Archduchess Eleanora b. 1534
Archduchess Margaret b. 1536
Renata of Lorraine b. 1544
(Creation of my timeline) Anne of England b. 1538

Currently, I'm leaning towards Magdalena.
 
The only one who wouldn’t be an “old maid” by 1560 is Renata, and there was a plan for her and Philip IOTL. It was actually the reason Elisabeth wed Philip instead of Don Carlos, since Renata was her brother’s heiress presumptive and Henri II feared a Habsburg Lorraine.
 
Does Philip have a second/third son and/or grandsons at this point? Because if so he may stay single until better options come about. If not, maybe Infanta Maria of Guimarães? She feels like a safe choice.

Anne of England really depends on who her mother is.
 
Hello!

I'm working on a timeline/novel and still hammering out some details. For Philip II of Spain, in this timeline marrying Mary I isn't on the table because she never becomes Queen of England.
So I have Philip marrying Maria of Portugal, Duchess of Viseu after the death of Maria Manuela. I have them married until 1560. So by this point, Elisabeth of Valois is probably married to Don Carlos, and her sister Claude is married to the Duke of Lorraine. So who would be the most likely candidate for Philip to marry in 1560?

Looking at the single women around this time, we've got:
Archduchess Magdalena b. 1532
Archduchess Eleanora b. 1534
Archduchess Margaret b. 1536
Renata of Lorraine b. 1544
(Creation of my timeline) Anne of England b. 1538

Currently, I'm leaning towards Magdalena.
Ferdinand I was against marrying one of his daughters to Philip so no way. Claude of Valois was physically unfit so she also is out of question.
Renata of Lorraine is the likeliest choice in my opinion
 
Ferdinand I was against marrying one of his daughters to Philip so no way. Claude of Valois was physically unfit so she also is out of question.
Renata of Lorraine is the likeliest choice in my opinion
I didnt realize Ferdinand was against marrying his daughters to Philip. By 1560, Ferdinand is already emperor so is Philip still a threat?

I do know Philip blocked Renata from marrying William the Silent. I do think that would be an interesting marriage.
Philip would not marry Ferdinand's daughter, Ferdinand was against it, as he feared, that Philip may disinherit
 
Does Philip have a second/third son and/or grandsons at this point? Because if so he may stay single until better options come about. If not, maybe Infanta Maria of Guimarães? She feels like a safe choice.

Anne of England really depends on who her mother is.
By this point, he has a second son who is young and a little sickly. Don Carlos is still himself but is happily wed to Elisabeth of Valois but no children yet. I haven't really decided whether or not their marriage will produce children though I'm leaning towards no.
 
so is Philip still a threat?
yes, because Max II was only elected as king of the Romans in November 1562

Don Carlos is still himself but is happily wed to Elisabeth of Valois but no children yet. I haven't really decided whether or not their marriage will produce children though I'm leaning towards no.
why wouldn't they produce issue? As I pointed out in my tree, D. Carlos' genetic quota is the same as Louis XIV's son and he left six surviving children (three legitimate, three bastards, with his morganatic wife having another stillborn child) not to mention was felled by a deadly bout of smallpox, not by some congenital sickness. Your POD is pre-Carlos' conception, so there'd be absolutely no reason he couldn't be reasonably healthy.
 
yes, because Max II was only elected as king of the Romans in November 1562


why wouldn't they produce issue? As I pointed out in my tree, D. Carlos' genetic quota is the same as Louis XIV's son and he left six surviving children (three legitimate, three bastards, with his morganatic wife having another stillborn child) not to mention was felled by a deadly bout of smallpox, not by some congenital sickness. Your POD is pre-Carlos' conception, so there'd be absolutely no reason he couldn't be reasonably healthy.
Okay, makes sense why Philip could be seen as a threat. From everything I'd read it seemed like he had zero interest in the HRE. Plus his eventual marriage to Anna of Austria, who was also suggested for Don Carlos.

And with Don Carlos, I was just thinking if things still go similarly to OTL he's eventually declared insane and locked away. Also looking at Elisabeth's miscarriage to live birth ratio, I could see maybe one or two children. But I can just as easily see them not necessarily having the time to do so.
 
Does Philip II have issue with the Duchess of Viseu?

In all reality, if she manages to give him a son or two that survive, he does not necessarily have to remarry when she kicks the bucket (though he obviously can, of course). If, like Elisabeth de Valois, she only manages to give him a couple daughters or they have no issue at all, then yes: he will likely remarry.

I'd probably say no-go to the English match, especially if your TL hinges upon a surviving Anne Boleyn who gives Henry VIII a son—I suppose it depends on how Henry VIII's eventual successor handles the English reformation. Does he carry it further ala Edward VI, or he is happy with his father's essentially Catholic Church (minus the Pope?).

Regardless, there will likely be issues in such a marriage: certainly cross-religious marriages did happen in the 16th century, but could have issues (Catherine de Bourbon marrying the Duke of Lorraine in 1599 comes to mind; Catherine was a devout Huguenot/Calvinist, while the Duke of Lorraine was a staunch Catholic. Pope Clement VIII declared himself opposed to the marriage and refused to grant a dispensation. Henri IV intimidated the Archbishop of Reims into granting the dispensation and the marriage went ahead—with the Pope eventually granting his sanction after the fact). Elizabeth I also comes to mind, when Philip II proposed himself as a potential husband: he intimated that she would need to secure the dispensation for the marriage, iirc.

I'd say Renata would be a good choice. Given Ferdinand I's opposition to give Philip II one of his daughters, Philip II's options would be limited to seeking out a bride from Italy (Savoy has no available princess; the Medici hold the Duchy of Florence are still considered parvenus... considering most of Cosimo's daughters married Italian nobles, I cannot see Philip accepting one of them). In Modena, there are the daughters of Ercole II d'Este and Renée of France: Lucrezia (b. 1535) and Eleanora (b. 1537) but Modena is just a small Italian duchy... there would not be much benefit to such a marriage. I suppose beyond that, he could seek a bride from Catholic Germany.

Further afield is Poland... c. 1560, Sigismund II Augustus has some unmarried sisters: Anna (b. 1523) and Catherine (b. 1526, IOTL married John III of Sweden) but it poses a similar problem as Modena: Poland is far afield, and a royal marriage with the Jagiellons offers Philip II absolutely nothing. Neither Anna nor Catherine are spring chickens, either and are older than Philip II: Anna is 37, and Catherine is 34. Granted, the Jagiellons are known for their late marriages / extensive lifespans... Catherine married IOTL at 36 and even had three children: Isabella (b. 1564, d. 1566; born when Catherine was 38) Sigismund (b. 1566 d. 1632; born when Catherine was 39-40) and Anna (b. 1568 d. 1625; born when Catherine was 42). Either princess could likely still have children if they wed, but if Philip II is marrying because his only child/heir is Don Carlos, then it's too risky a gamble. There is no reason to marry a princess who is an old maid when he has his pick of princesses who are much younger and give him a brood of children.

IIRC, there was also bad blood in this period between Sigismund II Augustus and Philip II regarding Sigismund II's mother, Bona Sforza: she'd retired to Naples with a massive fortune, loaned the Spanish viceroy an astronomical sum of money (430,000 ducats!). Philip II had no intention of repaying the loan—Bona died shortly afterwards in 1557, allegedly poisoned by members of her household. Before dying, she altered her will where she left Bari, Rossano, Ostuni and Grottaglie to Philip II and large sums to Pappacoda, one of her courtiers. Her daughters were to receive 50,000 ducats except Isabella, who would receive 10,000 annually—and her son Sigismund II was named the main beneficiary, but would inherit only cash, jewelry, and other personal property. The next day she altered her will (again) to leave Sigismund II Bari and the other properties, and then she died. Several members of her household died too. Little surprise that Pappacoda supported the will that favored Philip II (and himself). There was a prolonged legal fight: Spain was able to incorporate Bari, and by 1559 Sigismund II only recovered a small sum of cash, personal belongings, and interest. This saga would carry into the 1570s. I suppose a marriage could be negotiated to smooth over relations / heal this rift, but again: there's little reason too—Spain and Poland are on opposite ends of Europe; Philip II has no need to appease Sigismund II.

And with Don Carlos, I was just thinking if things still go similarly to OTL he's eventually declared insane and locked away. Also looking at Elisabeth's miscarriage to live birth ratio, I could see maybe one or two children. But I can just as easily see them not necessarily having the time to do so.
Honestly, when I do alternate matches / marriages in TLs, I will sometimes look at their OTL births, but I do not consider myself "beholden" to them so to speak.

As in real life, some couples are good together: they have no issue getting pregnant / having children, while others are more unlucky: suffering miscarriages / stillbirths. Some people are not good "fits" to speak... switching out one partner can change things totally. it is entirely possible that Elisabeth could have more than two children with Don Carlos, though obviously his mental issues might preclude that... but iirc, he was quite fond of Elisabeth? I anticipate she may be able to calm his rages and may have a beneficial effect on him.

The only time I "hold" myself to OTL fertility is if a historical figure is documented as being sterile/infertile. In that case, it doesn't matter who they get paired up with: they'll continue to shoot blanks or fail to get pregnant regardless.
 
Last edited:
I'd probably say no-go to the English match, especially if your TL hinges upon a surviving Anne Boleyn who gives Henry VIII a son—I suppose it depends on how Henry VIII's eventual successor handles the English reformation. Does he carry it further ala Edward VI, or he is happy with his father's essentially Catholic Church (minus the Pope?).
given that Karl V's ambassador was discussing a marriage between Elizabeth and Felipe II as early as Easter 1536 (less than two months after KoA's death), and the idea was broached again both before (1543 IIRC) and after Felipe's marriage to Maria Manuela, by both Henry VIII and Edward VI...I don't think there's going to be an issue. The Habsburgs know how to get a dispensation if they need one.

Also looking at Elisabeth's miscarriage to live birth ratio, I could see maybe one or two children. But I can just as easily see them not necessarily having the time to do so.
The only miscarriage she had was one in 1560 that not even the contemporary sources agree on*, her first stillbirth (in 1562 I think) was caused by the stupidity of the Spanish doctors and it was only her French doctor who saved her life. The stillborn twin sons she had in 1564, it should be remembered that twins in those days were not an easy matter. Her own twin sister's arm had to be broken to remove her from the womb and Caterina de Medici nearly died. Her sister, Claude's twin daughter, only had one of her twins (the future electress of Bavaria) survive infancy. So the chances that even with her French doctor attending both of those children would've survived is debatable.

*the reason it's up for debate is that Caterina de Medici delayed Élise's departure for Spain until after François II's coronation (September 1559). Then Élise took a leisurely ramble down through France to the Spanish border. By the time she'd have gotten to the Pyrenees, it would've been winter. And while, IIRC from the bio of her on my bookshelf, they did cross in either December or January 1559, and then she still had to get to Felipe II who refused to go further than Guadalajara to meet them. Then when they first met, he barked at her terrified silence "what are you looking for? To see if I have any grey hairs?" Even if we assume a consummation immediately on 30 January 1560 (when they met), the baby would've been due at the end of October 1560. However, there is no corroborating evidence that suggests the queen either took to her chambers for her lying-in or from her own letters to her mother that she had suffered a miscarriage at any point before being pregnant in 1562.
 
In my timeline, Anne Boleyn doesn't miscarry in 1536 and gives Henry a few other children.
Then any daughters of hers would be a possible match for Philip II, likely also ahead of Maria of Viseu.
Okay, makes sense why Philip could be seen as a threat. From everything I'd read it seemed like he had zero interest in the HRE. Plus his eventual marriage to Anna of Austria, who was also suggested for Don Carlos.

And with Don Carlos, I was just thinking if things still go similarly to OTL he's eventually declared insane and locked away. Also looking at Elisabeth's miscarriage to live birth ratio, I could see maybe one or two children. But I can just as easily see them not necessarily having the time to do so.
As Sebastian I of Portugal is unlikely to ever marry and specially have children it is extremely important who Carlos and Elisabeth had some surviving children (boys or girls do not matter too much. OTL don Carlos was locked away only shortly before his death (only in Autumn of 1467) while Elisabeth conceived at least four times in her marriage (once with twins, and keep in mind who also her mother had twins) and both her surviving daughters by Philip were born at the time in which Carlos was looked away (plus is likely who a beloved wife and children would help Carlos to stay calm and reduce his frustrations and conflicts with his father). If Carlos left an heir that child would be the indisputable heir of both Castile and Portugal and unlikely to be contested in Aragon as Joanna was named heiress and counted as Queen there.
 
to stay calm and reduce his frustrations and conflicts with his father
given Élisabeth's training, she could even run interference on Carlos' behalf or mediate between the two. After all, this is a girl who preferred to take instruction from her mom in politics than playing outside with her sister and sister-in-law. In short, as one biographer described Isabel Clara Eugenia, "she was learning the art of statecraft at an age when many other women were learning the art of adornment in a mirror"
 
given Élisabeth's training, she could even run interference on Carlos' behalf or mediate between the two. After all, this is a girl who preferred to take instruction from her mom in politics than playing outside with her sister and sister-in-law. In short, as one biographer described Isabel Clara Eugenia, "she was learning the art of statecraft at an age when many other women were learning the art of adornment in a mirror"
Then with Elisabeth married to Carlos is extremely likely seeing a much better familiar relationship in the Spanish royal family
 
Top