- January 7 - Pius V becomes Pope
- Selim II succeeds Suleiman I as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
- Religious rioting in the Netherlands signifies the beginning of the Eighty Years War in the Netherlands.
- June 19 - Prince James Stewart, later King James VI of Scotland and King James I of England and Ireland.
- June 20 - Prince Sigismund Vasa, later King Sigismund III of Poland and King Sigismund I of Sweden.