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Philip the Handsome (1478 - 1506) was the first Habsburgian ruler of the lands of Belgica Regia from 1482 until 1506, and the King of Castile from 1504 until 1506.

Philip was born in Bruges, metropolis in the County of Flandria, Belgium on 22 July 1478 as the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I of Austria and Mary of Burgundy. In 1482 his mother died after she fell from her horse during a hunting trip in the vicinity of Bruges, and he inherited her lands of Belgica Regia and Burgundy, under the regency of his father. In 1494 he came of age and took the ruling of these lands himself. On 20 October 1496 he married in Lier, Duchy of Brabantia, Belgium, to Joanna of Castile, the daughter of King Ferdinand II the Catholic of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile. The marriage was one like many of the Spanish monarchs, arranged to strengthen their position against France. After their son John of Aragon died, the Habsburgs could inherit their kingdoms through her.

In 1502 Philip and Joanna were recognized as the heirs of the kingdom, and Philip returned to Belgium, leaving Joanna in Spain. Philip's infidelity and Joanna's understandable jealousy made the marriage a miserable one, which eventually led to Joanna's descent into insanity. Joanna began to experience damaging fits of rage and by the time her mother died in 1504 she was quite mad. Ferdinand attempted to gain the regency of Castile, but the Aragonesa nobility feared and disliked him, so they made Philip the King. In 1506 Philip arrived with German mercenaries at La Coruña on 28 April 1506 with Joanna. Cardinal Cisneros mediated the dispute between Philip and Ferdinand, in which the latter accused him of imprisoning Joanna.

Philip soon revealed himself to be an incompetent ruler, and relations with Ferdinand again soured. A war might have occurred, but Philip died of typhoid suddenly at Burgos, Spain on 25 September 1506. Despite the miserable marriage, Joanna grieved deeply over Philip and refused to allow his body to buried.

Children with Joanna the Mad[]

  1. Eleanor (November 15, 1498 – February 25, 1558)
  2. Charles (24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558)
  3. Isabella (18 July 1501 – 19 January 1526)
  4. Ferdinand (10 March 1503 – 25 July 1564)
  5. Maria (18 September 1505 – 18 October 1558)
  6. Catherine (14 January 1507 – 12 February 1578)

Preceded by:

Maximilian I

Succeeded by:

Isabella King of Castile
1504 - 1506
with... Joanna the Mad
1504 - 1506
Joanna the Mad & Ferdinand V the Catholic
Mary & Maximilian I Duke of Brabant, Gelders, Limburg, etc.
1482 - 1506
Charles II