Historically, the Kingdom of Portugal and the Kingdom of England, and later the modern Portugal and United Kingdom, have never waged war against each other nor have they participated in wars on opposite sides as independent states since the signing of the Treaty of Windsor.
While Portugal was subsumed under the Iberian Union, rebellious Portuguese factions and government in exile sought refuge and help in England.
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The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance (or Aliança Luso-Britânica, "Luso-British Alliance", also known in Portugal as Aliança Inglesa, "English Alliance"), ratified at the Treaty of Windsor in 1386, between England (succeeded by the United Kingdom) and Portugal, may be the oldest alliance in the world that is still in force – with the earliest treaty dating back to the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of 1373 - although this claim is disputed by some historians who believe the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France, first signed in 1295, may still be in effect.
John of Gaunt left behind his daughter, Philippa of Lancaster, to marry King John I of Portugal (February 1387) in order to seal the Anglo-Portuguese alliance.
By this marriage, John I became the father of a generation of princes called by the poet Luís de Camões the "Illustrious Generation", which led Portugal into its golden age, during the period of the Discoveries.
The alliance has served both countries throughout their respective military histories, influencing the participation of the United Kingdom in the Iberian Peninsular War, the UK's major land contribution to the Napoleonic Wars and the establishment of an Anglo-American base in Portugal.
The alliance was reconfirmed after the Portuguese Restoration War and the English Restoration.
The alliance was reconfirmed after the breakup of the Iberian Union, primarily due to both countries' respective rivalries with Spain, the Netherlands, and France, both in Europe and overseas.
Portuguese foreign policy became tied to Spanish hostility to England.
As a result, Portugal and England were on opposite sides of the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) and the Dutch–Portuguese War.