1478: Waiting crowd shown the newborn prince and his testicles

Philip, the future king of Castile, was born on June 22nd 1478. The following day Margaret of York, the child’s godmother, carried baby Philip into the market square in Bruges, where a large crowd had gathered. According to a Flemish chronicler Margaret proudly stripped the baby and showed him to the crowd:

“…She took his testicles in her hands and spoke: ‘Children, see here your newborn lord Philip, from the emperor’s side’. The crowd, seeing that it was a son, was overwhelmingly happy, thanking and praising our beloved God that he had granted them a young prince.”

Margaret’s display was a response to rumours, circulated by agents of French king Louis XI, that baby Philip was actually a girl. Philip became King of Castile shortly before his 28th birthday but died suddenly just three months later. His obsessive and unstable wife Joanna, who at the time of Philip’s death was pregnant with their sixth child, became even more erratic. She refused to surrender Philip’s body for burial, keeping it in her apartments for several months. According to some chroniclers, she sometimes opened Philip’s casket to kiss and stroke his corpse.

Source: Cited in W. Appe Alberts, Dit sijn die wonderlijke oorloghen van den doorluchtigen hoochgheboren prince, &tc., 1978. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.