Margaret of Austria – a pregnant widow

Maximilian I of Austria had decided in 1494 that his children were to marry John of Spain and his sister Joanna of Spain. You can read more about his reasons here: https://hemmahoshilde.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/double-marriage-double-trouble-or-double-win/

Master of the Guild of St George (attr.): Margaret of Austria aged fourteen, c. 1494

Master of the Guild of St George (attr.): Margaret of Austria aged fourteen, c. 1494

Margaret of Austria close up.

Margaret of Austria close up.

Margaret of Austria 11Margaret of Austria 12

Margaret of Austria traveled by boat to Spain to meet her soon to be husband. They married in 1497. The boattrip hadn’t been smooth and when there was a storm Margaret was afraid that she would not make it and wrote her own epitaph in case she would not make it to Spain. It said:

“Here lies Margot, the willing bride,
Twice married – but a virgin when she died.”

But she made it to Spain and it was love at first sight even though it was an arranged marriage.  Margaret was easy to love, fun-loving and witty. John was very attracted by her. John told his confessor that he was worried by the lust h felt for his new wife, but his confessor told him that he didn’t needed to worry about it. The court physicians were worried though, because John had always had a weak constitution and now he was all of a sudden very active in bed. No wonder that he got Margaret pregnant in no time. Things seemed to finally go right for Margaret for once.

Margaret of Austria meets her new husband John of Spain.

Margaret of Austria meets her new husband John of Spain.

close-up.

Margaret of Austria as Mary Magdalen by Bernard van Orley.

Margaret of Austria as Mary Magdalen by Bernard van Orley. Mary Magdalen has a bit of a reputation as a loose woman even though sources in the bible don’t support this view.

But things changed quickly after half a year. John suddenly died, most likely of tuberculosis, but rumours were spreading that he died, because he had too much sex with Margaret at the tender age of 18. Because Margaret was pregnant she was still treated very well at the Spanish court. If her child was a boy he could still become the new Spanish king after all and even a girl would be considered to be a Spanish princess. Two months later Margaret gave birth to the only daughter she would ever have, but the child was unfortunately still-born. This was of course very sad for Margaret and also for John’s parents that had hoped to become grandparents.

Margaret was really hoping for a healthy child but the child she gave birth to was stillborn.

Margaret was really hoping for a healthy child but the child she gave birth to was stillborn. The dog most likely symbolizes Margaret’s loyalty and devotion to her husband while the monkey could be a hinting to the rumors about her sexual appetite, because traditionally monkeys often stand for lust.

Margaret of Austria 26

Margaret could not become the queen of Spain in her own right so next in line for the throne was John’s elder sister Isabella of Aragon.

tomb of John, Prince of Asturias.

tomb of John, Prince of Asturias.

Margaret of Austria 24

Buenas noches, mis amigos! Hilde

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5 thoughts on “Margaret of Austria – a pregnant widow

  1. Pingback: Isabella of Aragon – kissing cousins | hemmahoshilde

  2. Pingback: Joanna and Philip’s wedding – Lust at first sight | hemmahoshilde

  3. Pingback: Charles V birth | hemmahoshilde

  4. Pingback: Margaret of Austria married again | hemmahoshilde

  5. Pingback: death of a queen | hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

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