A painting of Mary and Philip soon after their wedding.
In 1554, Mary was married to Philip II of Spain, a devote Catholic, in hopes of producing a Catholic heir and preventing her Protestant sister Elizabeth from succeeding to the throne. Mary was eleven years older than Philip, and had previously been engaged to his father, her mother's nephew Charles V. The marriage was not one born of love but instead existed to provide a tie between England and Spain. The couple met for the first time two days before their wedding at Winchester Cathedral. During this short half-hour meeting Philip spoke Spanish while Mary replied in French. The English Parliament refused to crown him jointly with Mary so he had little power in England. During their reluctant marriage, Mary was believed to be pregnant several times. At one point in 1554 Mary's womb visibly swelled and she said that she could feel the child moving. Later that year rumors flew saying that the Queen had given birth to a son, but when no child was ever produced, the court awkwardly moved on from the Queen's fake pregnancy. In 1556, Charles V of Spain turned the kingdom over to his son and Philip became King of Spain, with Mary as his consort. The couple were very rarely together and Mary was devastated by her husband's absence. Philip returned to England in 1557 to persuade Mary to support Spain in a war against France. Mary was in favor of this war, but her Councillors opposed it on the grounds that it would disrupt French trade. War was declared anyway and in 1558 French forces took Calais, the last English stronghold in France. Mary was later said to have lamented, "When I am dead and opened, you shall find 'Calais' lying in my heart". England under Mary's reign experienced a persistent rain which led to flood and famine, something that did not help the already bad economic legacy left over from Edward VI's reign. Despite Mary's marriage to Philip, England did not benefit from Spain's lucrative trade with the New World.