After taking the throne, Mary quickly reinstated her parents’ marriage and executed Northumberland for his role in the Jane Gray affair. Her initial ruling council was a mix of Protestants and Catholics, but as her reign progressed she grew more and more fervent in her desire to restore English Catholicism.
In 1554 she announced her intention to marry Prince Philip of Spain, the son of Charles V. It was an unpopular choice for Protestants, who feared the permanent loss of Henry’s reforms, and for those who suspected a Spanish king would herald a continental takeover of England. Nevertheless, Mary moved forward with her plan, persuading Parliament to assent after Charles consented to leave Mary in full control and to keep the throne in English hands if the union produced no heirs.
Mary’s marriage to Philip was nearly as troubled as her father’s unions. Twice she was declared pregnant and went into seclusion, but no child was born. Philip found her unattractive and spent most of his time in Europe.