Prenuptial
in Mary and Philip
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Opening with the commercial ties between England and Spain, this chapter underlines the Habsburgs’ awareness of England’s strategic importance in securing the maritime link between Spain and the Low Countries. This triangular trade was key to containing France and maintaining hegemony. Mary was seriously discussed on at least three occasions as a potential Habsburg bride. In this context, xenophobia and foreign usurpation were repeatedly invoked in the face of a likely female accession. Ultimately Mary’s rise to power was built on her riches and crucial support within the Privy Council as well as personal popularity. Witness confusion at her coronation reflected the uncertainties produced by her unprecedented status as England’s first regnant queen.

Mary and Philip

The marriage of Tudor England and Habsburg Spain

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