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Isabella of Asturias

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Title: Isabella of Asturias  
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Subject: History of Spain, Philip I of Castile, List of women who died in childbirth, John, Prince of Asturias
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Isabella of Asturias

For other people named Isabella of Aragon, see Isabella of Aragon (disambiguation).

Isabella of Aragon
Queen consort of Portugal and the Algarves
Tenure 30 September 1497 – 23 August 1498
Spouse Afonso, Prince of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Miguel, Prince of Portugal and Asturias
House House of Trastámara
Father Ferdinand II of Aragon
Mother Isabella I of Castile
Born Dueñas
Died 23 August 1498(1498-08-23) (aged 27)
Burial Santa Isabella?, Toledo
Religion Roman Catholic

Isabella, Princess of Asturias (2 October 1470 – 23 August 1498) was a Queen consort of Portugal and heiress presumptive of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile as their eldest daughter. Her younger sisters were Catherine, Queen of England, Queen Joanna I of Castile, and Maria, Queen of Portugal.

Early life

Isabella was the first-born child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. She was born during the reign of her uncle King Henry IV of Castile, who would not forgive her mother for marrying Ferdinand without his permission. Following her mother's accession to the throne of Castile, the young Isabella was sworn as the heiress to the throne until the birth of her younger brother John in June 1478, just before her eighth birthday. Her parents were embroiled in a war of succession as the elder Isabella’s half-brother King Henry had not named a successor. A struggle ensued between the elder Isabella of Castile and her niece Joan of Castile, known as "la Beltraneja", who was rumoured to have been an illegitimate child conceived by Henry’s queen Joan of Portugal and her husband’s favourite Beltrán de La Cueva. King Afonso V of Portugal intervened on Joanna’s part and Ferdinand and Isabella were forced to fight a war with him. Young Isabella was a part of their negotiations for peace when Afonso finally withdrew his forces from Castile, ceding defeat. It was agreed under the terms of the Treaty of Alcáçovas that Princess Isabella would be married to Afonso V’s grandson Dom Afonso, Prince of Portugal, who was five years younger than Isabella. The treaty also provided for Ferdinand and Isabella to pay a large dowry for their daughter.


In 1490 Isabella married Afonso, Prince of Portugal, the heir of John II of Portugal. Though it was an arranged marriage, Isabella and Afonso quickly fell in love, and Isabella was grief-stricken when he died in 1491: sent home to her parents by John II, she declared that she would never marry again and would enter a convent. Her parents ignored this, and in 1497 she was persuaded to marry Manuel I of Portugal, Afonso's uncle and John II's cousin and successor. She did so on condition that Manuel follow her parents' religious policy and expel Jews who would not convert to Christianity from his realm. This he duly did. In the same year, Isabella became Princess of Asturias and heiress of Castile following the death of her only brother John and the stilbirth of his daughter.


In 1498, Isabella herself died while giving birth to Miguel da Paz, who was heir to the thrones of Castile and Portugal until his death in 1500. Manuel's chance to become king of Castile vanished with Isabella's death, and the main hope of uniting all Iberian kingdoms vanished with Miguel's death. Manuel then married Isabella's younger sister, Maria of Aragon, who bore him his son and heir John III. Portugal and Spain were finally united between 1580 and 1640, after Philip II of Spain successfully claimed the throne of Portugal as a son of Isabella of Portugal, the daughter of Maria of Aragon and Manuel I.


Titles from birth to death

  • The Princess of Asturias (1470–1478)
  • Infanta Isabella of Aragon and Castile (1478–1490)
  • The Princess of Portugal (1490–1491)
  • The Dowager Princess of Portugal (1491–1497)
  • The Queen of Portugal (1497–1498)


Isabella of Aragon, Queen of Portugal
Born: 2 October 1470 Died: 24 August 1498
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Eleanor of Viseu
Queen consort of Portugal
Succeeded by
Maria of Aragon
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Princess of Asturias
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Princess of Asturias
Succeeded by
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