Yet, beyond the exigencies of politics, Philip, the most powerful man in the world, remained an extraordinarily humble monarch. “They need to see that I am mortal,” he insisted, “like everyone else.” He showed scant interest in pomp and finery, altering royal protocol to ensure that he should be addressed in official documents not as “Majesty” but simply as “Sir”. He even recognised a certain value in tolerating political dissent. “The Prince of whom subjects complain the least,” he observed, “is he who gives them most freedom to complain.” With this humility went a real concern for the poor and unfortunate. It was typical of him that, when the remnants of the defeated Armada returned to Spain, he immediately gave orders that the wounded should be properly treated and receive a pension. As to the disaster itself, he disdained to express any complaint. “It is impiety, and almost blasphemy,” he considered, “to presume to know the will of God.”
Laudem Gloriae discusses Queen Isabel.
Under the pink and white of her skin pulsed the blood of crusaders and conquerors, the blood of Alfred the Great, of William the Conqueror, of the iron Plantagenet Henry II and the fiery Eleanor of Aquitaine, of Edward I and Edward III of England, of Philip the Bold of France, of Alfonso the Wise of Castile. She was descended on both sides from Louis IX of France and his cousin Fernando III of Castile, both kings, both crusaders and both canonized saints. She derived Lancastrian blood through both parents from John of Gaunt, brother of the Black Prince. --William Thomas WalshShare