The marriage between England’s first Queen regnant and a foreign prince was a delicate matter. The situation simply had not happened before. In April of 1554, The Act for the Marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain was passed by parliament.
It became more or less a business contract, stipulating what Spain could expect from the union and assuring that England would not become a satellite country of Spain. Philip was to join in his wife’s titles and honours as King of England and Ireland as long as they were married. All official documents were to be signed with both their names, though Philip’s would precede Mary’s as in a ‘normal’ situation for a husband and wife. Though Philip would have some power, most of it was reserved for Mary. It prohibited him from appointing foreigners to any offices, from taking any child they may have outside the realm and claiming the crown in the event that he outlive Mary.
Naturally, the Act presumed that Mary and Philip would have children, and a personal union was to form between England and Ireland and all the realms Philip was to inherit, but only if Philip’s son from his previous marriage died childless.
For Mary, her marriage was a great victory. She finally had her Prince. They married on 25 July 1554.
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