The Anglo-Spanish War: Queen Elizabeth I vs. King Phillip II
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius
“Queen Mary, the daughter of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, was married to King Philip II of Spain, which provided Philip II considerable political influence over England. This royal power couple however failed to produce an heir causing England’s religious future to become jeopardized.
Elizabeth I, next in line to the throne and a Protestant unlike her Catholic half-sister Mary, born to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The chief rival of both of these monarchs was Elizabeth I’s cousin Mart Queen of Scots, the daughter of King James V of Scotland and Mary of Guise (pronounced “geeze”). Mary Tudor, the daughter of Henry VIII, despised the idea of her half sister becoming queen as Mary viewed Elizabeth I as illegitimate because Mary viewed her mother, Boleyn, as a prostitute.
Mary doubted Elizabeth I’s loyalty to both herself and the Catholic faith and had Elizabeth I locked up in the Tower of London. Because Philip II was always on Elizabeth I’s side, he was able to persuade Mary to free her half sister from house arrest.
Philip II maintained a healthy relationship with Mary as he understood that the Catholic alternative, Mary Queen of Scots, would have brought England under the control of Philip II’s enemies, the French. Philip II could under no circumstance allow Mary Queen of Scots to become the reigning monarch of England as it would be political suicide as Mary Queen of Scots was betrothed to Prince Francis II, the son of King Henry II who was the king of France, which would mean that the whole of England would become absorbed into the French empire. Philip II erroneously believed that he could convert Elizabeth I, as Elizabeth I appeared upon the surface to be submissive and demure, and she had attended Catholic mass in the past which led Philip II to believe that Elizabeth I could be funneled toward becoming a Catholic if she had a strong, leading husband. In the end, Mary relented to Philip II’s demands and declared her Protestant half sister the next successive monarch of the British throne.”