After the death of his mother-in-law queen Isabella I Philips needed to mark his position as the husband of the next queen in line. His father-in-law and him have decided to share the power for now, share the profit of Spain and the new colonies 50/50 and aid each other military if needed but god knows how long that will hold. It is clear that Ferdinand would love to rule the whole of Spain even though his daughter has the right to her mothers throne. So Philip decides he needs some good PR so the 14th of January he decides to hold a memorial in honor of his deceased mother-in-law.
It started with a memorial for his mother-in-law in the Church of St-Goedele in Brussels. A herald declared three times in a loud voice: “the illustrious, most excellent and most powerful Catholic Isabella, of blessed memory, queen of Castile, Leon, Toledo, Granada, is deceased“.
A bit later the herald goes further and declares: “Long live Sir Philip and wife Johanna, King and Queen of Castile, Leon, Toledo, Granada, etcetera”. 14 trumpeters play music to an impressive ceremony. After that Philip writes down all of his 51 titles clearly flipping his father-in-law the finger because he is far away in Spain.
So he writes:
By the grace of God King of Castile, Leon, Aragon, Portugal, Navarre, both the Sicilies, of Jerusalem, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, of Mallorca, of Seville, of Sardinia, of Cordoba, of Corfijcke, of Murcia, Jaen, Al Gharbia, of Algefiere, of Gibraltar, of the islands and the countries of the ocean. Archduke of Austria, Duke and count of Burgundy, Lorraine, Brabant, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland and Milan. Count of Hapsburg, Flanders, Artois. Palatine of Tyrol, Count Palatine of Hainault, of Holland, Zeeland, Namur and Zutphen. Prince of Zwave, Marquess of the Holy Roman empire, Lord of Friesland, of Salijnes, of Mechelen, the cities and countries of Utrecht, Overijssel and Groningen and finally ruler of Asia and Africa.
It’s quite clear that the real aim of this memorial is to point out what a great and mighty ruler Philip is. The list seems now ridiculously pretentious: some of the “countries” are now merely cities and there is no basis to suggest that Philip was the ruler of Asia, Africa and all the islands and countries of the oceans. But it is true that Philip had a lot of influence in Europe and that his empire was big, but it was unfortunate for him that it wasn’t completely connected. Some countries like France, Switzerland and parts of Germany for example were in the way all the time.
Philip was lucky that the nobility of Castile preferred to have him as a ruler BECAUSE he was far away and less likely to keep a close eye on them like his father-in-law Ferdinand II, but it became obvious that Philip and Joanna will have to travel to Spain again if they ever hope to claim the throne successfully. But as usual it is difficult for them to travel, because Joanna is pregnant again.