PHILIP II (1527-1598, King of Spain 1556-1598 and of England 1554-1558)
LETTERS SIGNED BY PHILIP II AS KING OF ENGLAND ARE RARE. His titles are given in Spanish at the head of the letter: 'Philip, by the grace of God King of England, of Naples etc. Prince of Spain, Duke of Milan etc.'. The King's signature on this letter is unusual: normally he signed 'Yo El Rey' or rarely 'Philipp'; here it is only 'El Rey'.
The Spanish phrase for the two soldiers' service in Turin is very specific: 'carros [carts] de Turin' - this refers directly to the means that Charles V's soldiers used to gain entry to the city - they concealed themselves under hay in ox carts and blocked the gates against the defending guards (I am grateful to Michael Escarzaga for this explication).
The recipient of the letter, the third Duke of Alba (1507-1582) best known as the Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1567 to 1572, was Spain's greatest general. One of the most powerful men in the Spanish Empire, he was in Milan to prosecute war against the Pope. In the summer of 1556 Philip was attempting to raise an army of 50,000; the present letter perhaps being associated with these efforts.
Gonzalo Perez (b. c. 1506-1566) was Philip II's Secretary and Chief Minister, having served in the same office under the Emperor Charles V until the latter's abdication. Gonzalo Perez came to England with Philip. His illegitimate son Antonio Perez (1540-1611), succeeded his father in the Secretaryship. It has long been supposed that Antonio was the model for Don Antonio De Armado in Love's Labour's Lost.