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Queen Victoria Eugenie (standing, white hat) with her husband King Alfonso XIII, her mother-in-law Dowager Queen Maria Christina (sitting, holding Infante Gonzalo), and her children. Children Standing: Infanta Maria Christina, Infante Gonzalo (held) and Infanta Beatriz of Spain. Children Sitting: Infante Jaime and Infante Juan of Spain, and Alfonso, Prince of Asturias
Anna of Austria, (1549-1580). Philip II of Spain is without a male heir when his son Don Carlos dies. Anna becomes his fourth wife, she is beautiful and young, they are married in 1570. She is connected to the powerful Habsbugs and this marriage unites the two most powerful empires in Europe. Both empires are Catholic, and this again puts pressure on the prevaricating Elizabeth to marry and secure the succession with a male heir. Maria has three sons but only one survives into adulthood.
In 1559, Robert Dudley, after the death of his first wife in suspicious circumstances, became one of seven contenders to marry Elizabeth I. Some of the English nobility presenting themselves were enemies. In particular they distrusted Dudley. Dudley's father, had been betrayed by Arundel, another suitor, and executed for treason. Arundel feared a reprisal. Dudley's open familiarity with Elizabeth I was also the subject of gossip both inside and outside of court and was noted by ambassadors.