How Philip II was born

It started at midnight on 21st May and lasted 16 hours

The birth of Philip II, son of Emperor Charles V and his herdsman, was long and painful, but it was also a test of the strength and fortitude of the Empress, Elisabeth, who was barely heard screaming during the trance.

The birth of Emperor Charles V’s heir, the future Philip II, took place on 21st May 1527. But what we are going to tell you today, is that the Empress Elisabeth barely screamed during the 16 hours she was in labour. The birth began in the early hours of that 21st May.

Elizabeth of Portugal

In contrast to what is usually the case, Elisabeth showed unheard of strength. Even when recommended to do so, as it was a help, she replied in her native language, Portuguese, that «Eu morrerey, mais no gritarey«. That is, I will die, but I will not scream.

Consequently, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon of that day, the empress gave birth to a boy, which filled the father, Emperor Charles V, with joy, as it was only then that the sex of the newborn child was known. She therefore sent letters to all the world for news of the good news, letters in which he stated «because I know the pleasure and joy that you will give«, referring to his new status as a father; and also as the father of the heir to his dominions, which led her to state in those same letters that «I hope in God that it will be for your service and great good of these kingdoms.«

Palace of Pimentel, Valladolid.

Instead, Elizabeth spent two days in which her life was in danger. It was then that the emperor was able to announce that both mother and son were in good health. Above all, the mother, «who, although she has been through a lot of work, is now, praise God, very good.«


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