Philip II of Spain (Spanish: Felipe II; 21 May 1527 – 13 September 1598) was King of Spain (as Philip II in Castille and Philip II in Aragon) and Portugal as Philip I (Portuguese: Filipe I). During his marriage to Queen Mary I, he was King of England and Ireland and pretender to the kingdom of France. As heir to the Duchy of Burgundy, he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. Known in Spanish as "Philip the Prudent" (Felipe el Prudente), his empire included territories in every continent then known to Europeans and during his reign Spain was the foremost Western European power. Under his rule, Spain reached the height of its influence and power, directing explorations all around the world and settling the colonization of territories in all the known continents including his namesake Philippine Islands. However, he was also responsible for four separate state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1575, and 1596; precipitating the declaration of independence which created the Dutch Republic in 1581; and the disastrous fate of the 1588 invasion of England.
An equestrian statue is a statue of a rider mounted on a horse, from the Latin "eques", meaning "knight", deriving from "equus", meaning "horse". A statue of a riderless horse is strictly an "equine statue". A full-size equestrian statue is a difficult and expensive object for any culture to produce, and figures have typically been portraits of rulers or, more recently, military commanders.