Ruthless Facts About Philip II Of Spain, The Tarnished King

The so-called Golden Age of Spain had many tarnished secrets, and King Philip II was behind the darkest of them.

Cold, cruel, and inflexible in his ways, Philip viewed himself as the pious hero of Roman Catholicism—but behind closed doors, his actions were nothing short of depraved.

King Philip II Of Spain Facts

1. He Was Heir To A Golden Kingdom

Most kings are born with privilege, but few had the power that Philip held in his baby fists. His father was the imperious and intimidating Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor—and at the time of his birth in 1527, the royal family wasn’t messing around with their heir. Spain had only just started exploiting the colonial resources of the New World a couple generations before, and they intended to keep it going.

As Philip grew up, his parents molded him into a terrifying and tiny absolute monarch, giving him lessons in conflict, statecraft, and being a strict Catholic…but the other lessons they taught him were bone-chilling.

Philip II of Spain Facts

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2. He Learned To Be Paranoid At A Young Age

Philip’s father had enormous expectations for his son, and none of them included “emotional maturity” or “a well-adjusted childhood.”

In fact, thinking he was helping his son become a better future monarch, Charles V even made a creepy motto for the boy to live by as he went through his studies: "piety, patience, modesty, and distrust."

Soon enough, the weight of his responsibilities began to contort Philip in alarming ways.

Charles V facts

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3. He Had Psychopathic Tendencies

The young prince soaked in these early lessons like a sponge and emerged from his pre-teen years as a serious, studious young man. But he also had a dark side. Even those who knew Philip best were alarmed by how cold and calculating the young man could be. One minister described him by saying, "he had a smile that was cut by a sword.”

In other words, the psychopath vibes were strong in Philip. And he already had some dirty little secrets.

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