25 July 1554 – Mary I Marries Philip of Spain

Yes, it’s Happy Anniversary to Mary and Philip because on this day in history, at Winchester Cathedral, the 38 year old Queen Mary I married the 27 year old Philip of Spain in a very lavish ceremony.

The groom wore a white doublet and breeches topped with a mantle of cloth of gold decorated with precious stones, a present from his bride, and the collar of the Order of the Garter. The bride, who had chosen the fashionable French style (shouldn’t it have been English or Spanish?!), wore a gown of “rich tissue with a border and wide sleeves, embroidered upon purple satin, set with pearls of our store, lined with purple taffeta” and Mary’s biographer, Linda Porter adds that her dress also had a partlet and a high collar, a kirtle of white satin embroidered with silver, and a train.

You can read more about Mary and Philip’s wedding day and their married life in my article “Happy Wedding Anniversary Mary I and Philip of Spain!”.


8 thoughts on “25 July 1554 – Mary I Marries Philip of Spain

  1. A french styled gown. It is strange that isn’t it, I would have thought she would have given everything French a wide berth, being as french fashion seems to be always associated with her ‘arch enemy’ Anne Boleyn.
    I find that thinking of Mary on her wedding anniversary is tinged with sadness, as we know that it was not a marriage ‘made in heaven’. Being totally one sided, Mary being besotted with her bridegroom, and Philip, though treating her with the respect she was due, not having the same devotion towards her, just a sense of duty,and going back to Spain as soon as he could. Poor, poor Mary, so unloved, it is so sad…

  2. One wonders if Philip “closed his eyes and thought of Spain” while he was “performing his husbandly duties.”


    Dawn is right, poor Mary!

    Though it seems strange that Mary chose to wear French fashion on her wedding day, especially given her experiences with Anne Boleyn, who loved French fashion, it is not really surprising, because the French were (and remain?) style setters. The clothing was pleasing to the eye, and probably pleasant to wear as well. Mary wanted to look good for her husband.

    Will there ever be a bio of Philip posted here? He is such an important part of Elizabeth’s world, going from brother in law, to potential bridegroom, to mortal enemy.

    I have read such conflicting reports on him, ranging from Philip being the epitome of a Renaissance era gentleman and King, to cold hearted so and so. Like Anne Boleyn, the truth is probably somewhere in between.

  3. I agree that it is very sad that Mary was so unloved. I can’t help but wonder if she would have been happier if she had refused to execute Lady Jane Grey. According to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Plantagenet,_17th_Earl_of_Warwick , Catherine of Aragon thought that her marital troubles may have been due to the execution of an innocent performed to secure her coming to England; maybe, Mary’s marital troubles were due to a similar source.

  4. It would be nice to think that she may have been happier if she hadn’t had Jane executed Esther, but to honest I think that Mary had so many issues and demons to fight and contend with that I don’t think it would have make the slightest of difference to her mental state, even with her strong religious conviction she never seem to find peace of mind….tragic.

  5. Dawn: I agree that Mary did have too many issues and “demons”, making her life tragic. I was just thinking of Catherine of Aragon’s attitude … that the execution of an innocent effectively “cursed” her marriages … and what might have been if Mary’s marriage had not been similarly “cursed.”

  6. I think that portait of Mary and Philip doesn’t flatter him. I’m sure his legs were not that spindly in proportion to the rest of his body.

  7. I do often think about mary and her life, she was blind to the fact that she would fail, she would never have an heir and i am truly suprised anyone in the court truly thought at age past her prime for tudor era she would be with child!

  8. Kimberly…1.) Mary did not fail. 2.) When got ‘pregnant’ the first time her ladies in waiting to show age did not matter, brought in a woman whom recently gave birth to triplets at the age of 45 or 47(excuse my lack of exact precisness, I do not have any of my books with me at the moment) all the children were born healthy.

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