Eleanor of Castile Queen of Aragon, three colours miniature drawing, on Ivorex, by Rosmar Booth. 

Eleanor was the daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England. She was Infanta of Castile, Spain, and after her marriage in 1221 to King James I of Aragon, she became Queen Consort of Aragon.








 Eleanor of England Queen of Castile (1162-1214). Miniature c. 1274  and 1300, source Alfonso VIII el Noble, author anonymous, Wikipedia







Miniature detail of Alfonso VIII of Castile, Wikipedia.

Eleanor was the grand-daughter of Henry II of England and of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and also of Sancho III of Castile and Blanca of Navarre  Queen consort of Castile.











Sancho III of Castile  between c.1312 & 1325, source http://bdh.bne.es bnrsearch/detalle/bdh0000051546, author unknown. Wikimedia Commons. (Eleanor's grandfather)






Miniature portrait representing  Blanche of Navarre, author Alonso de Cartagena . Wikimedia Commons. (Eleanor's grandmother)

She was about nineteen years of age when she married James I of Aragon known as the "Conqueror" he was only thirteen, although he was king of Aragon since the age of five. In 1229 they had a son named Alfonso.



Miniature representing Eleanor of Castile and James I of Aragon known as" The Conqueror".  author Rosmar Booth, medium plumbago on ivorex.

 Alfonso married Constance of Bearn Viscountess of Marsan, in Calatayud, on the 23rd of March 1260,  sadly three days late on March 26th Infante Alfonso de Aragon, heir of King James I passed away. 









Henry and Eleonora.jpg. 14th century miniature from an illuminated manuscript representing Henry II and his wife Eleanor, anonymous . Wikimedia Commons. ( Eleanor's grandparents)

In 1230 the marriage of James I and Eleanor was annulled by Pope Gregory  IX at the King's request, with the allegations that they were related, as they were both a great- grand child of King Alfonso VII of Castile.





Pope Gregory IX from a medieval manuscript, universitatsbibliothek Salzburg, M III 97,122rb,ca.1270. Wikipedia.









13th century miniature of Alfonso VII King of Castile, Leon  and Galicia, from the Codex Tumboa. Santiago of Compostela Cathedral.Wikipedia.

In the documents it was agree that while Eleanor remained single she could keep the villa and castle of Ariza, and everything else money wise  that she was receiving as Queen of Aragon . 




Photo of what is left in our days of the Castle  of Ariza, Aragon, Spain. Source own work Fran Ara. Wikimedia Commons. At the beginning of the XV century this was the most important fortress of Aragon.

King James also expressed his wish that the Queen not be separated from their son , and so his first born Infante  Alfonso of Aragon was legitimated, and was his heir.  Unfortunately  Alfonso  predeceased  his father, (as previously mentioned) he died in 1260  at the young age of 31.






Miniature paintings representing the Kings of Aragon, James I and his first wife Eleanor of Castile, artist Rosmar Booth, medium three colour drawing, on Ivorex.

After the marriage was dissolved  Eleanor returned to Castile and became a nun, at  the Monastery of Cistercian nuns of Santa Maria la Real de  las Huelgas, Spain. This Monastery was a very special place for her, as it was founded by her parents,  Alfonso and Eleanor in 1187.






Photo of the Monastery of Santa Maria la Real de las Huelgas, Burgos. Indexed in the Spanish Heritage Register Ref RI-51-0000 453. Author Zarateman. Wikimedia Commons.

 On  retiring at the Monastery of Santa Maria la Real, Eleanor joined his sister Constance, also a nun, and abbess there, and her elder sister Berengaria who had also retired at the Monastery, after ruling Castile and Leon. Eventually the three of them died and were buried there at the Abbey.







Miniature representing Eleanor of Castile, c.1202 - 1244, artist Rosmar Booth, medium plumbago on Ivorex.







Detail of the 13th century Cartulary of the Toxos Outos Monastery, miniature representing Queen Berengaria of Castile, author unknown, Wikipedia.               (Eleanor's sister)

Back in the XX century  during some work carried out at the Monastery, Eleanor  coffin was opened, when she died the body was mummified, and so they found her in good state of preservation: a women of 1.60 meters tall, with the hands crossed upon the chest, the clothing was also well conserved








Miniature portrait drawing by Rosmar Booth, medium plumbago on ivorex

Eleanor died at the age of 42, she was Infanta of Castile, Queen consort of Aragon, daughter and granddaughter of kings, sister of a King and a Queen, and auntie of Ferdinand III King of Castile, known as "The Saint".

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