Isabella of Aragon – kissing cousins

As you could read before John of Spain, heir apparent of the throne of Spain and his daughter both died in 1497.

His widow, Margaret of Austria had no issue on her own so it was then John’s older sister Isabella of Aragon who became the new heiress presumptive.

Isabella with her father Ferdinand II, mom Isabella I, brother John of Spain and sister Joana of Castile.

Isabella with her father Ferdinand II, mom Isabella I, brother John of Spain and sister Joana of Castile.

Isabella of Asturias.

Isabella of Asturias.

Isabella of Asturias.

Isabella of Asturias.

The issue with that was that Isabella was a bit messed up at the time. Isabella had not had the easiest childhood because she often accompanied her parents who were fighting quite a lot to expand their influence and power. Isabella’s mom Isabella I had even fought with her niece Joan of Castille about the succession of the Portuguese throne. They waged war and the Portuguese won. They forced Isabella I and Ferdinand II to sign a treaty where Spain had to pay quite some money to Portugal and they had to promise that their oldest child Isabella would marry the Portuguese prince Afonso even though he was her cousin and 5 years younger. Afonso was expected to become king of Portugal. She also had to go and live with Afonso right away to make sure that her parents would honor the conditions in the treatment. Isabella was 10 at the time so literally double the age of her fiancee. She had to stay there 3 years. After 3 years she could live with her parents again until she actually married Afonso in 1490.

Afonso, Prince of Portugal.

Afonso, Prince of Portugal.

Isabella and Afonso married by proxy first in spring 1490 and then Isabella traveled to Portugal where she first met Afonso’s uncle Manuel I and 3 days before she was reunited with her now husband Afonso in November 1490. Despite the age difference it became a love match. Unfortunately their union would only last 8 months because Afonso died in july the following year. Isabella who was now a widow would return to her parents in Spain and she vowed that she would never marry anyone again. She was really heartbroken.

Initially her parents respected her wishes, but in 1495 Manuel I the new king of Portugal asked them for Isabella’s hand. They tried to offer him one of their younger daughters instead but Manuel I insisted he wanted to marry Isabella. Isabella who was very religious, just like her parents Isabella I and Ferdinand II founders of the inquisition, said she would marry him on one condition. He would have to expel the Jews just like her parents had done a couple of years before in Spain. Isabella had the ridiculous idea that her husband had died, because God was angry that Portugal had become a refuge for the Jews that had been expelled from Spain by Isabella’s parents. Manuel I agreed to this and so the Jews of Portugal were now forced to either convert to Christianity or leave the country without their children.

The Alhambra Decree (also known as the Edict of Expulsion) was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain (Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon) ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

The Alhambra Decree (also known as the Edict of Expulsion) was an edict issued on 31 March 1492 by the joint Catholic Monarchs of Spain (Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon) ordering the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdom of Spain and its territories and possessions (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

Manuel I

Manuel I

Isabella and Manuel I married in 1497 just before John I expectantly died. It should have been clear that Isabella was now the new heir but her brother-in-law Philip the Handsome claimed the throne  even though he had just married into the family and not showing any respect for the tragic losses of the family of both their son/brother and his only child (which was Philips own niece!). The family now had to defend Isabella’s right in a court in Toledo. Isabella was pregnant at the time and that was an advantage because that meant there was a 50 % chance of a male heir.  People preferred a king on the throne even though women could inherit the throne. So a couple of months later the family gathered in Toledo to discuss the situation. This was in 1498. Isabella and Manuel I won and it was decided that they were the legitimate heirs of the Spanish crown. After that the family went to the city of Zaragoza. On 23 August she gave birth to a son Miguel de Paz. Unfortunately Isabella died hours after giving birth to her son.  Isabella had requested to be dressed as a nun and she wanted to be buried in the convent of Isabela in Toledo.

Isabella of Asturias adoring Mary with baby Jesus.

Isabella of Asturias adoring Mary with baby Jesus.

This meant Manuel I wouldn’t become king of Spain after all, because he could only become the king through Isabella.But the child became the new heir apparent. Unfortunately young Miguel de Paz died after 2 years in 1500.  He died in his grandmothers arms. He was buried in the Royal Chapel in Granada.

Royal Chapel in Granada.

Royal Chapel in Granada.

So in 1500 they needed again a new heir for the Spanish throne and now only 3 daughters remained: Joana of Castile, Maria of Aragon and Catherine of Aragon. Who would be the new heiress?

here you can see a video as well:  youtube

Buenos noches mis amigos, Hilde

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9 thoughts on “Isabella of Aragon – kissing cousins

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

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  3. Pingback: Maria of Aragon married her sister’s widower | hemmahoshilde

  4. Isabella of Castile fought with her niece, Joan of Castile because Joan of Castile was the rightful heiress to Castile but there was doubt on the paternity of Joan of Castile because her mother, Juana of Portugal who was the second wife of Henry the Fourth of Castile was a slut. It was thought that Joan of Castile was the daughter of a nobleman by the name of Beltran de la Cueva, so Joan of Castile was referred to as Juana la Beltranja. Her uncle, Alfonso, King of Portugal wed her after Henry the Fourth died and that was the war you are talking about. The huge Portuguese war that lasted four years from 1474 until 1478. During this time, Juana of Castile was Alfonso’s wife and Queen of Portugal. After Isabella of Castile won, Alfonso had to divorce the marriage with Juana of Castille, and she had to go into a nunnery but she constantly ran away back to the Portuguese Court and then she would go back to the nunnery. Juana of Castille lived until 1530, meaning she outlived Isabella of Castile and always signed her documents Juana la Reine.

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  5. Wow you do your homework well Catalina :). Yeah I’m always a bit conflicted on Isabella and her sisters. On one hand they were powerful smart girls, but there was no need for Isabella to demand of Manuel I to expel the Jewish people in Portugal. Than again what to expect of a girl whose parents supported the inquisition.

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  6. Homework?? Ha. I am no school girl. I am 58 years old and I have been reading history since I was fourteen. Spanish, Portuguese, French, Scottish, English history and much more but basically concentrating in those Countries. I absolutely love Portuguese and Castilian and Aragonese and Scottish history. I know English history very, very well but a lot of it I do not like. As to Isabella of the Austrias and I know I am spelling that wrong, she was madly in love with her first husband, Alfonso of Portugal. She absolutely did not want to wed a second time. And she was very religious, even more so that Isabella of Castile Why Isabella of Castile called her daughter, Isabella, Queen of Portugal, her mother in law. As you say in one of your posts, the travelling around Castile and Aragon when she was a young girl affected her. She was super serious. So she could not bear that the Jews in Portugal were given such a free hand and Manuel knew her from when she was wed with Prince Alfonso and he fell in love with her and really wanted her as his wife and Queen. He loved all three of his wives, Isabella of Castille’s daughters, Isabella and Maria of Aragon and Juana of Castile’s daughter, Eleanor of Austria with whom he had a daughter, by the name of Mary.

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  7. Pingback: Birth of Isabella of Portugal | hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

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

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