Women of the Court of Isabella I of Castile 


Isabella of Portugal

Isabella is often known as the Mad Queen and is credited with passing down her mental illnesses to her grand daughter Juana La Loco and in turn to royalty over all of Europe. She is the Mother of Isabelle the 1st of Castile, also known as the warrior queen and the catholic monarch. The Isabella we are looking at here married into the Castilian royal family, after a series of long and very unfortunate events she was sent away and isolated in a deserted palace where she descended into "madness." 

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Juana La Beltraneja

Juana La Beltraneja was born on Feburary 21st 1462 to Joan of Portugal, current queen consort of Castile. Right away it was questioned who her father was because of her mothers reputation. Beltraneja means daughter of Beltran rather than the father recorded, King Enrique of Castile. Nevertheless, she went on to marry the king of Portugal and fight in the Castilian war of succession against Isabella I to try and gain her place as Queen Regnant of Castile. 

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Isabella of Aragon

Eldest daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand, Isabella of Aragon was born in 1470 to the newly married couple. The country was still in great upheaval As Portugal fought for the crown. When Isabella was 7 she got the long awaited baby brother and heir to the throne that pushed the country over the edge in favor of her mother. With tensions still high, Little Isabella was betrothed and eventually married to the heir of Portugal. She fell head over heels, madly, in love with him and was crushed when he tragically died only a year into the marriage. 

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Maria of Aragon

As the fourth child of Isabella the 1st and Ferdinand of Castile and Aragon, Maria is often forgotten in history or added in as footnote. She was betrothed at a young age to James V king of Scotts, but when  her older sister Isabella died in childbirth Maria was sent to Portugal to take her place. She married Manuel I of Portugal and they fell quickly in love with each other. She was described and quiet and pious, the perfect queen of the time. She had 10 children and was very involved in their lives. Her grandson became Philip II of Spain. 

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Women of the Early Tudor Court 


The Legacy of the Mad Queen

Wives of Henry VIII

Women of Late Tudor Court