Philip I, also known as Philip the Handsome (July 22, 1478 – September 25, 1506; Felipe el Hermoso; Philipp der Schöne; Philippe le Beau; Filips de Schone) was the son of the Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.
Through his mother Mary of Burgundy he inherited the greater part of the Burgundian state the Burgundian Netherlands and through his wife Joanna the Mad he briefly succeeded to the kingdom of Castile. He was the first Habsburg ruler in Spain and his successors recognized him as Philip I of Castile. He never inherited his father's territories, or became Holy Roman Emperor, because he predeceased his father.
Philip was born in Bruges, in the County of Flanders (today in Belgium) and was named after his great-grandfather, Philip the Good. In 1482, upon the death of his mother Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold, he succeeded to her Burgundian possessions under the guardianship of his father. A period of turmoil ensued which witnessed sporadic hostilities between, principally, the large towns of Flanders (especially Ghent and Bruges) and the supporters of Maximilian.
During this interregnum, the young Philip became caught up in events and was even briefly sequestered in Bruges as part of the larger Flemish campaign to support their claims of greater autonomy, which they had wrested from Mary of Burgundy in an agreement known as the Blijde Inkomst or Joyous Entry of 1477. By the early 1490s, the turmoil of the interregnum gave way to an uneasy stand-off, with neither French support for the cities of the Franc (Flanders), nor Imperial support from Maximilian's father Frederick III proving decisive. Both sides came to terms in the Peace of Senlis in 1493, which smoothed over the internal power struggle by agreeing to make the 15-year old Philip prince in the following year.
In 1494 Maximilian relinquished his regency under the terms of the Treaty of Senlis and Philip, at the age of 16, took over the rule of the Burgundian lands himself, although in practice authority was derived from a council of Burgundian notables. On October 20, 1496, he married the Infanta Juana, daughter of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile, in Lier, Belgium.
The marriage was one of a set of family alliances between the Habsburgs and the Trastámara, designed to strengthen both against growing French power, which had increased significantly thanks to the policies of Louis XI and the successful assertion of regal power after war with the League of the Public Weal. The matter became more urgent after Charles VIII's invasion of Italy (known as the First Peninsular War).
Philip's sister Margaret married Don Juan, the only son of Ferdinand and Isabella and successor to the unified crowns of Castile and Aragon. The double alliance was never intended to let the Spanish kingdoms fall under Habsburg control. At the time of her marriage to Philip, Juana was third in line to the throne, with both Juan and his elder sister Isabella married and hopeful of progeny.
In 1500, shortly after the birth in Flanders of Juana and Philip's second child (the future Charles V), the succession to the Castilian and Aragonese crowns was thrown into turmoil. The heir apparent, Don Juan, had died in 1497 very shortly after his marriage to Margaret of Austria. The succession thereby passed to Queen Isabella, who had married King Manuel I of Portugal. She died in 1498, while giving birth to a son, the Infante Miguel, to whom succession to the united crowns of Castile, Aragon and Portugal now fell; however, the infant was sickly, and he died during the summer of 1500. The succession to the Castilian and Aragonese crowns now fell to Juana. Because Ferdinand could conceivably produce another heir, the Cortes of Aragon refused to recognise Juana and Philip as the heirs presumptive to the Kingdom of Aragon. In Castile, however, the succession was clear. Moreover, there was no salic tradition which the Castilian Cortes could use to thwart the succession passing to Juana. At this point, the issue of Juana's mental incompetence moved from courtly annoyance to the centre of the political stage, since it was clear that Philip and his Burgundian entourage would be the real power-holders in Castile.
In 1502, Philip, Juana and a large part of the Burgundian court travelled to Spain to receive fealty from the Cortes of Castile as king, a journey chronicled in intense detail by Antoon van Lalaing (Antoine de Lalaing), the future Stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland. Philip and the majority of the court returned to the Low Countries in the following year, leaving a pregnant Juana behind in Madrid, where she gave birth to Ferdinand, later Holy Roman Emperor. Philip's life with Juana was rendered extremely unhappy by his infidelity and by her jealousy, which, working on a neurotic temperament, furthered her insanity. The princess gave way to paroxysms of rage, in which she was guilty of acts of atrocious violence. Before her mother's death, in 1504, she was unquestionably quite insane, and husband and wife lived apart.
When Queen Isabella died, King Ferdinand endeavoured to lay hands on the regency of Castile, but the nobles, who disliked and feared him, forced him to withdraw. Philip was summoned to Spain, where he was recognized as king. He landed, with his wife, at La Coruña on April 28, 1506, accompanied by a body of German mercenaries. Father and son-in-law mediated under Cardinal Cisneros at Remesal, near Puebla de Sanabria, and at Renedo, the only result of which was an indecent family quarrel, in which Ferdinand professed to defend the interests of his daughter, who he said was imprisoned by her husband.
A civil war would probably have broken out between them; but Philip, who had only been in Spain long enough to prove his incapacity, died suddenly at Burgos, apparently of typhoid fever, on September 25, 1506. His wife refused for long to allow his body to be buried or to part from it.
Philip and Juana of Castile had six children: