»The beautiful woman from the house of Welser «
»Favourite son of the emperor«
In our day it is no longer a great sensation when royal princes marry into the untitled ranks. This was very different 450 years ago, when Archduke Ferdinand II of Austria (1529–1595) married Philippine Welser (1527–1580) from Augsburg. The fact that a member of the ruling family had an affair with a member of the middle-classes was nothing exceptional. What was exceptional, however, was that the great-grandson, nephew, and son of an emperor did not marry within his social class.