Scholarship on the Dutch Revolt has always devoted much attention to the fortune of Prince William of Orange, which led to a historiographical neglect of noblemen who, during the conflict, remained loyal to their lord Philip II. These loyal noblemen have often been regarded as Catholic collaborators with the Spanish and as egoistic parvenus longing for royal patronage. Through a juxtaposition of Charles Count of Berlaymont (1510-1578) and Philip of Sainte-Aldegonde, Baron of Noircarmes (?-1574), this contribution reassesses the link made between patronage and political opinion during the Revolt. Both noblemen obtained similar favours with different patronage strategies, which led to a lifelong rivalry between them. Nevertheless, during the Dutch Revolt they both engaged in loyal opposition, even agreeing to jointly raise complaints against the regime of the Duke of Alba at the Spanish Court. So recipients of Habsburg patronage in the Netherlands became foremost empowered bargainers, able to air their criticisms, rather than to be transformed into mere marionettes of the King.