The 1713 Treaty of Utrecht confirmed Philip V as the first Bourbon king of Spain, in return for ceding Naples, Sicily, Milan and Sardinia. Britain also retained the Spanish ports of Gibraltar and Mahón, captured during the War of the Spanish Succession.
When Elisabeth Farnese became Philip's second wife in 1714, he already had two sons who were next in line for the Spanish throne. She wanted to create an Italian inheritance for her own children, while Philip viewed regaining these territories as important for his prestige. Spain re-occupied Sardinia unopposed in 1717 but a landing on Sicily in 1718 led to the War of the Quadruple Alliance. The Royal Navy's victory at Cape Passaro in August isolated the Spanish invasion force and ultimately forced them to surrender to Austrian troops in 1719.
In the 1720 Treaty of The Hague, Spain renounced its Italian possessions, in return for a guarantee Parma would go to Elisabeth's eldest son Charles on the death of the childless Duke of Parma. The new British monarch, George I, agreed to raise the question of returning Gibraltar in Parliament 'at a favourable opportunity.' Frustration at the lack of progress on this and commercial tensions led to the 1727 to 1729 Anglo-Spanish War.
Military action was primarily limited to an attack on Porto Bello, Panama by the British and an unsuccessful siege of Gibraltar by Spain, who also imposed restrictions on British merchants. The two countries agreed a truce in February 1728; hoping to deter Spain from an alliance with Austria, British envoy Benjamin Keene negotiated the Treaty of El Pardo in March. Considered too lenient by London, the agreement was repudiated, leading to the Congress of Soissons..