(Philip by Antonio Moro)

Soon after Mary's coronation, Simon Renard, the Emperor Charles V's ambassador, urged Mary to consider marriage to the Emperor's son Prince Philip Hapsburg of Spain. She would not at first consider it arguing that she was too old, being 37 and he only 26. Secretly she had always wished for a husband and family and the ambassador persuaded her to think about the Catholic heir she could give England. In Philip's favor he was her second cousin and kin to her beloved mother. As she began to warm to the idea she made the Council go over the demands that would be made by them in relation to Philip's authority in England. None of Philip's Spanish advisors should interfere in English affairs, and that English born ministers alone would confer with Philip and Mary on matters relating to England. England would not declare war on France, whom the Emperor was at war with, or to break off diplomatic relations with France. Philip was forbidden to bring Spanish troops with him . He could not appoint officials and could not send English money abroad. Also the Emperor was very generous with his gifts of money. Mary agreed and looked forward to seeing her future husband in person.

Philip arrived in England in July, 1554. He set out to Winchester and met the Queen at 10pm at night , trying hard to be agreeable to all of the English lords and ladies. Mary was delighted in her new husband. He was small, slender with blue eyes and a fair complexion. He had sandy hair and beard. They were married in Winchester Cathedral on July 25. By the end of the service Mary was in love. What Philip thought of his bride he made clear to his closest advisors. She was older than he was told, dressed badly, and had no eyebrows. (This statement is interesting in that it could apply also to her father and siblings.) At the dancing later that evening Mary proved herself to be a better dancer than her husband.

Philip wanted an equal partnership out of this marriage and he did not get it. Emotionally he could never love his wife the way she loved him. He did not feel her equal as a sovereign for he could only have as much power as she was willing to give. Mary was grateful to have someone to share the heavy burden of ruling and more importantly dealing with her Council. But Mary only complied with Philip's wishes when they agreed with her own. Philip's Spanish courtiers were outraged. He preferred their company to the English. It was Philip's intention to bide his time and continue to seem under English authority when his real goal was to bring England under the Hapsburg orbit, another country to be used by the Emperor.

After the honeymoon Mary was back hard at work. She rose at dawn, and worked till well past midnight. They saw each other only for meals or in the evenings when she would play the lute or virginals for him. By November Mary believed herself to be pregnant. She was overjoyed and during the next months went through the preparations for the Catholic heir she had dreamed of.  In April of 1555 the couple moved to Hampton Court in order for Mary to retire to her chamber and await the birth. There was a false rumor that a prince had been born on April 30th and bonfires had begun to be lit in London for celebrations but by the next day the news was discounted. The days continued into May with still no sign of a child. Beside swelling of her belly, Mary's chamber women stated that she had no other usual signs of pregnancy. By May 21, her belly had greatly receded and now Mary had her doubts. By August the charade was over everyone realized that there was not to be a child. In reassessing her symptoms it is believed today that Mary suffered from amenorrhea or ovarian cancer which would have prevented her from ever carrying a child. Mary returned to her usual routine unhappy and humiliated.

In 1555 Emperor Charles V abdicated and divided his lands. Philip would now be King of the Netherlands. Philip departed from England on August 29th and Mary watched tearfully as he waved from the ship to her. She wrote to him every night asking for his return. By November he was demanding that Mary order the preparations for his coronation. He wanted to share the government with her as King. Mary told him a coronation was a very remote possibility. Philip was not yielding. He was enjoying his time in the Netherlands and took to going to masques and balls every night. February 18, 1556 Mary turned 40. She was not unaware that she held little attraction for her husband and was feeling her age. She turned her energies to helping the poor. She would dress up as a simple woman and go to different cottages on her estates to hand out money or promised apprenticeships to children of large households. She asked villagers how they lived and if officers of the court dealt honestly with them. If not, she would personally berate the officers and have the matter cleared up. On Good Friday she would carry out other ceremonies performed by English sovereigns such as blessing of cramp rings (talismans for healing) and touching for the King's Evil (scrofula). But she missed Philip. By May she demanded, that if he did not return by June 30 "she was not to consider him a trustworthy king." The portrait of Philip that hung in the Council chamber irritated her and she ordered it removed. She heard rumors of his infidelities and tried to continue to keep a brave face.

(Coin commemorating the wedding)

When Philip finally returned he brought war with him. A new Pope had been elected in 1556, Paul IV. The Pope had a hatred of Hapsburg power and sided with their enemy the French. Because of this Philip had tried to prevent his election as Pope so this was also a person grudge. Philip's ongoing wars with France had depleted his treasury and he now turned toward England. To speed his return Mary did everything to bring her government to Philip's aid. She sent Philip 150,000 ducats and the promise of naval support against the French. By January 1557, six thousand foot and six hundred horse soldiers were promised if the French attacked the Netherlands. Philip arrived back in March of 1557 and it took much persuading from Mary to bring the Council to their wishes. A declaration of war against France was declared on June 7. By the end of July Philip was gone again. He and the army were headed to Calais, the last English colony on the continent. Philip had a few successful battles in France and after that things seemed calm. But on January 7th, 1558 the French mounted a surprise attack on Calais and took it.        

Calais had been under English rule for over two hundred years and Mary was blamed for its loss. It was a large blow to English morale. Mary took the news badly and fell ill believing herself to be pregnant again. Her Counselors were squabbling amongst themselves and the country was in an ecomonic decline having had years of bad harvests and influenza epidemics.

Death of Mary

In March of 1558 Mary made her will but did not name Elizabeth as her heir. She did consider marriage for Elizabeth by Philip's suggestion, to the Prince of Savoy but nothing definite was ever planned. Mary now admitted that she was mistaken in her second pregnancy. She fell into depression and would not leave her room. All the hopes of her life were unfulfilled and it seemed the child of the woman who had so injured her mother was to succeed her. She suffered a fever through the summer but insisted on returning to London from the country. Philip was sent many update reports of her condition but he did not return. She was at St. James palace when in October she made a codicil to her will in which she stated that her husband should have no further government or rule within England. She also instructed him to be a father, brother and friend to the next sovereign. Because Mary had not specifically named Elizabeth heir, Elizabeth was making preparations in case she had to fight for the throne. On November 6 the Counselors visited Mary in her bed chamber and urged her to name Elizabeth as heir. She did give in with the hopes that Elizabeth would continue to uphold the Catholic religion.

By November 14, Mary was near the end. She was fading in and out of consciousness and awoke to find her ladies weeping. She told them not to fret because she had dreams of many little children, like angles, play before her, singing pleasing notes, giving her comfort. When she was conscious she spent much time crying and when asked if it was because her husband was away she answered that was one reason but most of all that "when I am dead, you will find Calais lying in my heart." On November 16, the will was read aloud in Mary's bed chamber. By dawn the next morning Mary knew her time had come and ordered mass celebrated in her room. At the end of the service her ladies thought she had fallen asleep but she had died peacefully. The betrothal ring was removed from her finger and carried to Hatfield. Mary was 42 years old. She was buried in Westminster Abbey in a grave that laid unadorned throughout Elizabeth's reign. Elizabeth was interred in the same grave and a lavish monument built for her. On the side of the monument it states that the two sisters are buried together.

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