At the moment I’m trawling around medieval rulers in Europe. And lo! I’ve come upon this gentleman:
His contemporary likenesses aren’t much better, so why was he called Philip the Fair/Handsome? Was it tongue-in cheek? If you look through the various recreations of him in this link below, if they’re even halfway accurate you can be certain he was NOT handsome. Unless what was considered handsome then certainly isn’t what we’d call handsome now. It seems he was called “the Handsome” because of his fair hair and attractive grey-blue eyes. Well, if his hair was notably fair, his modern likeness certainly isn’t. But yes, his eyes are indeed blue-grey.
Now the Habsburgs weren’t renowned for their physical beauty, and this chap seems to confirm it. He was not only Duke of Burgundy, but became the first member of the house of Habsburg to be King of Castile, albeit for less than a month. He was the one who was unfortunate enough to be driven ashore in England in early 1506 when his ships were caught in a terrible storm. He fell into the clutches of Henry VII, who was only too delighted to receive him and force him to agree to treaties. See here. Philip’s unexpected arrival was clearly manna from Heaven to wily Henry. But within months poor Philip was dead, having only just got the crown of Castile in his grasp.
Philip was married to Joanna, elder sister of Catherine of Aragon who, as we ALL know, eventually became the queen of Henry VIII, albeit after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing involving Henry’s late elder brother, Arthur. It was a still-unanswered question of whether Arthur and Catherine “knew each other” in the biblical sense. First it suited Henry VIII to decide they hadn’t, but when he wanted to be rid of her, suddenly they had! But that, of course, is another story.