Joanna of Castile – Childhood and betrothal

I have written before about the decision to have a double wedding between John of Spain with Margaret of Austria and Joanna of Castille and Philip the Handsome. You can read about it here: https://hemmahoshilde.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/double-marriage-double-trouble-or-double-win/

The wedding of Joanna and Philip was considered as less important as the one between Margaret and John because John and Margaret were expected to be the future king and queen of Spain. Joanna and Philip were only expected to be duke and duchess, because they were third in line for the throne when they married.

Joanna did receive a good education of her parents even though they didn’t expect her to become a queen. Her academic education consisted of canon and civil law, genealogy and heraldry, grammar, history, languages, mathematics, philosophy, reading, spelling, and writing. Her teacher was Beatriz Galindo a teacher, physician, writer and humanist who excelled in Latin.

Beatriz Galindo, teacher of Joanna and her siblings.

Beatriz Galindo, teacher of Joanna and her siblings.

She read an impressive list of authors of classical literature. Joanna developed feminine accomplishments in court etiquette, dancing, drawing, equestrian skills, good manners, music, and the needle arts of embroidery, needlepoint, and sewing. She excelled in languages: Castillian, Leonese, Galician-Portuguese, Catalan, French and Latin! Joanna had been given instruction in religious studies but already in 1495 there were signs of religious skepticism but her mother choose to hide this. Joanna also learned outdoor pursuits such as hawking and hunting. It was said that she was a skilled dancer and a talented musician in playing the clavichord, the guitar and the mono-chord. These type of things were considered useful skills for the queen consort her parents thought she might become one day. They had no idea Joanna could become a ruler one day. Joanna did on the other hand get just as much luxury as her brother and sister. She had her own tailor and shoemaker and her own staff including female slaves from her parents colonies. She also had her own mules.

Illustration of Maria, Joseph and baby Jesus with a mule in the Book of Hours of Joanna of Castile.

Illustration of Maria, Joseph and baby Jesus with a mule in the Book of Hours of Joanna of Castile.

Joanna of Castille with her parents.

Joanna of Castille with her parents.

Joanna of Castile as a young girl.

Joanna of Castile as a young girl.

Close-up Joanna of Castile as a young girl.

Close-up Joanna of Castile as a young girl.

Bethany Aram wrote about what Ferdinand and Isabella really tried to obtain by marrying off Joanna to Philip:

“Fernando and Isabel, like most rulers of their time, negotiated their children’s marriages to
advance diplomatic and strategic aims. They educated their daughters to represent their
interests abroad, aware that Juana’s skill in Latin and appreciation of music would serve her
in any European court…Eager to strengthen their ties with Maximilian [of Austria], Fernando
and Isabel offered Juana to his son, Philip of Burgundy, in exchange for Maximilian’s daughter,
Marguerite of Austria, as a spouse for Prince Juan. This double alliance, essentially designed
to curtail French expansion, rested upon Austrian and Spanish animosity toward the Valois
[French] monarchs”

Joana of Castille as a teenage girl. The flower in her hand indicates that she is betrothed.

Joanna of Castile holding a carnation flower which was a sign of betrothal.

Joanna of Castile holding a carnation flower which was a sign of betrothal.

Betrothal of Joanna and Philip.

Betrothal of Joanna and Philip.

Joanna and Philip were betrothed in 1496 when Joanna was 16 years old. She would marry a couple of months later in Flanders. But before that she first had to travel there. The big question was if Joanna was ready to fulfill her parents hope to further the influence of Spain through her marriage or if it would be the other way around.

Betrothal Joanna and Philip.

Betrothal Joanna and Philip.

Joanna of Castile

Joanna of Castile

Close-up Joanna of Castile.

Close-up Joanna of Castile.

buenos noches, mis amigos y amigas! Hilde

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