Meta: On the subject of Isabella I of Castile and Joanna la Beltraneja (will revise soon)


Portrait of Isabella I of Castile.

One of my favorite historical figures whom I’m extremely fascinated by is the woman known in history and to us as Isabella (Isabel), first of that name to rule the Spanish Kingdom of Castile (Castilla in Spanish) and helped bring about the later union of the many kingdoms into Spain through her marriage to Ferdinand II of Aragon.

Isabella led a very interesting life with its fair share of ups and downs, victories and losses, moments of happiness and sorrow. She was born quite fortunate as a princess (known as infanta, though I do not know if this title was already in use during her time — excuse me for my lack of knowledge but I have not yet gotten my hands on a biography of Isabella or any book, for that matter, that deals with this particular subject of titles in the Spanish monarchy, and I have, compared to others, a limited amount but more or less sufficient amount of resources on her for me), as she was the only daughter and eldest child of King John (Juan) II of Castile and his second wife Isabella of Portugal. Her birth date is 22 April 1451. At the time, Isabella’s half-brother Henry (Enrique; the son of John and his deceased first wife Mary/Maria of Aragon) was ahead of her in the line of succession to the Castilian throne and was displaced further by the birth of her younger brother Alfonso two years later.

Isabella’s father died when she was only a child in 1454 and Henry succeeded him as King of Castile (Henry IV), with Isabella, her mother, and her brother left in his care. For some reason that is apparently unknown (but much speculated on), perhaps from simple ineptitude or a pragmatic desire to restrict his half-siblings, Isabella and her family were moved to Arevalo, for while they lived in a castle, the living conditions there were poor and they often suffered a shortage of money. Isabella the elder’s mental health apparently also deteriorated there, which had begun with symptoms of melancholia and post-partum depression after the birth of her daughter. Despite all these hurdles, the three managed to survive and Isabella’s mother gave her children the best education it was possible for them to have there.

Isabella and Alfonso’s living conditions only improved upon their summoning to Segovia, the capital of Castile, for the birth of Henry’s child with his wife Joan (Juana; this can also be translated into Joanna/Joana) of Portugal in 1462. However, it appeared that there were already rumors flocking around the paternity of Joan’s child, since it was known that she could be promiscuous and her not-so-discreet philandering with men was considered scandalous. However, it was only much later when several Castilian nobles rose up against Henry because they considered his half-brother Alfonso his true heir (instead of Joanna, who was supposedly Joan’s illegitimate child by a lover) that it was openly said Beltran de la Cueva was the father and allowed them to call Joan’s child Joanna la Beltraneja (the daughter of Beltran).


Drawing of Joanna of Castile, Queen of Portugal, more commonly known as Joanna la Beltraneja.

Until this very day, Joanna remains an enigma to many of us since there’s so little known about her life compared to Isabella. Only the time when she fought with Isabella for the Castilian throne is the best-documented time of her life and even then there are many unclear things about her, including her much-disputed paternity. Even as she may have been illegitimate, many (especially those in Portugal when she married her uncle Afonso V in 1475) thought that she would be a good ruler, given time and as she was already displaying signs of her ability to govern. Like Isabella, I am fascinated by her, though I would not say that she is at the top of my list of favorite historical figures.

So for this meta, I basically broach the subject of Joanna’s legitimacy. However, it is more of my opinions/theorizing on how Isabella and Joanna (though more on Isabella) felt and thought of each other and their rights to rule/legitimacy instead of actually bringing up evidence and speculating whether Joanna was Henry’s daughter as I am no expert on that yet.

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Favorite Historical Figures (will link later)

These figures are mostly morally ambiguous royalty so bear with me and my obsession with royal history:

Favorite Historical Couples and Ships (will link later)

Some historical couples I like but haven’t come up with ‘otp’ tags for them yet:

  • Edward I of England/Eleanor of Castile [ship: edward I of england x eleanor of castile]
  • Edward I of England/Margaret of France, Queen of England [ship: edward I of england x margaret of france queen of england]
  • Edward III of England/Philippa of Hainault [ship: edward III of england x philippa of hainault]
  • Richard II of England/Anne of Bohemia [ship: richard II of england x anne of bohemia]
  • Edward the Black Prince/Joan of Kent [ship: edward the black prince x joan of kent]
  • Louis XVI of France/Marie Antoinette of Austria [ship: louis XVI of france x marie antoinette of austria]
  • Jacquetta of Luxembourg/Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers [ship: jacquetta of luxembourg x richard woodville 1st earl rivers]
  • Edward IV of England/Elizabeth Woodville [ship: edward IV of england x elizabeth woodville]
  • George II of Great Britain/Caroline of Ansbach [ship: george II of great britain x caroline of ansbach]
  • George III of the UK/Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz [ship: george III of the uk x charlotte of mecklenburg strelitz]
  • Stephen, King of England/Matilda of Boulogne [ship: stephen king of england x matilda of boulogne]
  • William I of England/Matilda of Flanders [ship: william I of england x matilda of flanders]
  • Charles II of England/Catherine of Braganza [ship: charles II of england x catherine of braganza]
  • William IV of the UK/Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen [ship: william IV of the UK x adelaide of saxe-meiningen]
  • John, King of England/Isabella of Angoulême [ship: john king of england x isabella of angouleme]
  • Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld/Charlotte of Wales [ship: leopold of saxe coburg saalfeld x charlotte of wales]
  • Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent/Joan of Kent [ship: thomas holland 1st earl of kent x joan of kent]
  • Frederick, Prince of Wales/Augusta, Princess of Saxe-Gotha [ship: frederick prince of wales x augusta princess of saxe gotha]
  • Philip IV of France/Joan I of Navarre [ship: philip IV of france x joan I of navarre]
  • Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York/Cecily Neville, Duchess of York [ship: richard of york 3rd duke of york x cecily neville duchess of york]
  • James II & VII/Anne Hyde [ship: james II and VII x anne hyde]
  • James II & VII/Mary of Modena [ship: james II and VII x mary of modena]
  • John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough/Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough [ship: john churchill 1st duke of marlborough x sarah jennings duchess of marlborough]
  • Frederick V, Elector Palatine/Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia [ship: frederick V elector palatine x elizabeth stuart queen of bohemia]
  • Henry Stafford/Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby [ship: henry stafford x margaret beaufort countess of richmond and derby]
  • Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl of Derby/Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby [ship: thomas stanley 1st earl of derby x margaret beaufort countess of richmond and derby]
  • Henry I of England/Matilda of Scotland [ship: henry I of england x matilda of scotland]
  • Philip V of Spain/Elizabeth Farnese [ship: philip V of spain x elizabeth farnese]
  • Ferdinand VI of Spain/Barbara of Portugal [ship: ferdinand VI of spain x barbara of portugal]
  • Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil/Prince Gaston, Count of Eu [ship: isabel princess imperial of brazil x prince gaston count of eu]
  • Ludovico Sforza/Beatrice d’Este [ship: ludovico sforza x beatrice d’este]
  • Giovanni de’ Medici il Popolano/Caterina Sforza [ship: giovanni de’ medici il popolano x caterina sforza]
  • Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany/Eleanor of Toledo [ship: cosimo I de’ medici grand duke of tuscany x eleanor of toledo]
  • Philip II of Spain/Elisabeth of Valois [ship: philip II of spain x elisabeth of valois]
  • Philip II of Spain/Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain [ship: philip II of spain x anna of austria queen of spain]
  • Alfonso VIII of Castile/Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile [ship: alfonso VIII of castile x eleanor of england queen of castile]
  • Henry III, Duke of Saxony/Matilda of England, Duchess of Saxony [ship: henry III duke of saxony x matilda of england duchess of saxony]
  • William II of Sicily/Joan of England, Queen of Sicily [ship: william II of sicily x joan of england queen of sicily]
  • Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse/Joan of England, Queen of Sicily [ship: raymond VI count of toulouse x joan of england queen of sicily]
  • Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor/Empress Matilda [ship: henry V holy roman emperor x empress matilda]
  • Louis XIV of France/Francoise d’Aubigne, Marchioness of Maintenon [ship: louis XIV of france x francoise d’aubigne marchioness of maintenon]
  • Louis-Ferdinand, Dauphin of France/Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain [ship: louis ferdinand dauphin of france x maria teresa rafaela of spain]
  • Louis-Ferdinand, Dauphin of France/Maria Josepha of Saxony [ship: louis ferdinand dauphin of france x maria josepha of saxony]
  • Louis, Dauphin of France, Duke of Burgundy/Marie-Adelaide of Savoy [ship: louis dauphin of france duke of burgundy x marie adelaide of savoy]
  • Louis-Philippe, King of France/Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily [ship: louis philippe king of france x maria amalia of naples and sicily]
  • Napoleon I of France/Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie [ship: napoleon I of france x josephine tascher de la pagerie]
  • Napoleon I of France/Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma [ship: napoleon I of france x marie louise duchess of parma]
  • Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester/Eleanor of England, Countess of Leicester [ship: simon de montfort 6th earl of leicester x eleanor of england countess of leicester]
  • Louis IX of France/Margaret of Provence [ship: louis IX of france x margaret of provence]
  • Charles I of Naples/Beatrice of Provence [ship: charles I of naples x beatrice of provence]
  • Raymond Berenguer IV, Count of Provence/Beatrice of Savoy [ship: raymond berenguer IV count of provence x beatrice of savoy]
  • Louis II of Naples/Yolande of Aragon [ship: louis II of naples x yolande of aragon]
  • Charles VIII of France/Anne of Brittany [ship: charles VIII of france x anne of brittany]
  • James I of Scotland/Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland [ship: james I of scotland x joan beaufort queen of scotland]
  • James IV of Scotland/Margaret Tudor, Queen of Scotland [ship: james IV of scotland x margaret tudor queen of scotland]
  • Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk/Mary Tudor, Queen of France [ship: charles brandon 1st duke of suffolk x mary tudor queen of france]
  • Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk/Catherine Willoughby, Duchess of Suffolk [ship: charles brandon 1st duke of suffolk x catherine willoughby duchess of suffolk]
  • Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset/Anne Stanhope, Duchess of Somerset [ship: edward seymour 1st duke of somerset x anne stanhope duchess of somerset]
  • Lady Jane Grey/Lord Guildford Dudley [ship: lady jane grey x lord guildford dudley]
  • Alfonso of Aragon/Lucrezia Borgia [ship: alfonso of aragon x lucrezia borgia]
  • Frederick I of Wurttemberg/Charlotte, Princess Royal [ship: frederick I of wurttemberg x charlotte princess royal]
  • Frederick III, German Emperor/Victoria, Princess Royal [ship: frederick III german emperor x victoria princess royal]
  • Elizabeth, Empress of Russia/Alexei Razumovsky [ship: elizabeth empress of russia x alexei razumovsky]
  • Wilhelm II, German Emperor/Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein [ship: wilhelm II german emperor x augusta victoria of schleswig holstein]
  • Wilhelm II, German Emperor/Hermine Reuss of Greiz [ship: wilhelm II german emperor x hermine reuss of greiz]
  • Peter I of Russia/Catherine I of Russia [ship: peter I of russia x catherine I of russia]
  • Paul, Emperor of Russia/Sophie Dorothea of Wurttemberg (Marie Feodorovna) [ship: paul emperor of russia x sophie dorothea of wurttemberg]
  • Alexander I of Russia/Louise of Baden (Elizabeth Alexeievna) [ship: alexander I of russia x louise of baden]
  • Nicholas I of Russia/Charlotte of Prussia (Alexandra Feodorovna) [ship: nicholas I of russia x charlotte of prussia]
  • Alexander III of Russia/Dagmar of Denmark (Marie Feodorovna) [ship: alexander III of russia x dagmar of denmark]
  • Leopold I of Belgium/Louise of Orleans [ship: leopold I of belgium x louise of orleans]
  • Albert I of Belgium/Elisabeth of Bavaria, Queen of Belgium [ship: albert I of belgium x elisabeth of bavaria queen of belgium]
  • Leopold III of Belgium/Astrid of Sweden [ship: leopold III of belgium x astrid of sweden]
  • Leopold III of Belgium/Lilian Baels [ship: leopold III of belgium x lilian baels]
  • Ernest Augustus I of Hanover/Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz [ship: ernest augustus I of hanover x frederica of mecklenburg strelitz]
  • Edward VII of the United Kingdom/Alexandra of Denmark [ship: edward VII of the united kingdom x alexandra of denmark]
  • Leopold, Duke of Albany/Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont [ship: leopold duke of albany x helena of waldeck and pyrmont]
  • Henry of Battenberg/Beatrice of the United Kingdom [ship: henry of battenberg x beatrice of the united kingdom]
  • John Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll/Louise of the United Kingdom [ship: john campbell 9th duke of argyll x louise of the united kingdom]
  • Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse/Alice of the United Kingdom [ship: louis IV grand duke of hesse x alice of the united kingdom]
  • Christian of Schleswig-Holstein/Helena of the United Kingdom [ship: christian of schleswig holstein x helena of the united kingdom]
  • Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn/Louise Margaret of Prussia [ship: arthur duke of connaught x louise margaret of prussia]
  • Frederick William III of Prussia/Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz [ship: frederick william III of prussia x louise of mecklenburg strelitz]
  • Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angouleme/Marie-Therese of France [ship: louis antoine duke of angouleme x marie therese of france]
  • Maria Theresa of Austria/Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor [ship: maria theresa of austria x francis I holy roman emperor]
  • Franz Ferdinand of Austria/Sophie, Duchess of Hohenburg [ship: franz ferdinand of austria x sophie duchess of hohenburg]
  • Ferdinand I of Romania/Marie of Edinburgh [ship: ferdinand I of romania x marie of edinburgh]
  • Haakon VII of Norway/Maud of Wales [ship: haakon VII of norway x maud of wales]
  • Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia/Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha [ship: kirill vladimirovich of russia x victoria melita of saxe coburg and gotha]
  • Philip II of France/Agnes of Merania [ship: philip II of france x agnes of merania]
  • Sancho IV of Castile/Maria de Molina [ship: sancho IV of castile x maria de molina]
  • Louis VIII of France/Blanche of Castile [ship: louis VIII of france x blanche of castile]
  • Alfonso IX of Leon/Berengaria, Queen of Castile [ship: alfonso IX of leon x berengaria queen of castile]
  • Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn/Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld [ship: edward duke of kent and strathearn x victoria of saxe coburg saalfeld]
  • Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia/Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine [ship: sergei alexandrovich of russia x elisabeth of hesse and by rhine]
  • Alfonso, Duke of Galliera/Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha [ship: alfonso duke of galliera x beatrice of saxe coburg and gotha]
  • George VI of the United Kingdom/Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon [ship: george VI of the united kingdom x elizabeth bowes lyon]
  • Afonso, Prince of Portugal/Isabella of Aragon, Queen of Portugal [ship: afonso prince of portugal x isabella of aragon queen of portugal]
  • Suleiman the Magnificent/Hurrem Sultan [ship: suleiman the magnificent x hurrem sultan]
  • Genghis Khan/Borte [ship: genghis khan x borte]
  • Edward II of England/Isabella of France [ship: edward II of england x isabella of france]
  • Winston Churchill/Clementine Hozier [ship: winston churchill x clementine hozier]
  • Thomas Jefferson/Martha Wayles [ship: thomas jefferson x martha wayles]
  • George Washington/Martha Dandridge [ship: george washington x martha dandridge]
  • John Adams/Abigail Smith [ship: john adams x abigail smith]
  • Abraham Lincoln/Mary Todd [ship: abraham lincoln x mary todd]
  • John F. Kennedy/Jacqueline Bouvier [ship: john f. kennedy x jacqueline bouvier]
  • Jessica Mitford/Esmond Romilly [ship: jessica mitford x esmond romilly]
  • Jessica Mitford/Robert Treuhaft [ship: jessica mitford x robert treuhaft]

And here’s a ‘brotp’/possible ‘otp’ that I’m still confused over whether I should ship them on a purely platonic, emotional level or possibly romantic as well:

  • Christina, Queen of Sweden/Ebba Sparre [brotp: the swedish queen’s bed fellow]

An Introduction

Hello there! My name is Dawn and I am, as I put it in my profile, a Filipino high school student, bookworm/fangirl, and history lover. While I am still studying and learning more and more about history (especially ancient, [European] medieval, early modern, and royal), I hope to become a historian; published author specializing in fantasy, sci-fi, adventure, and historical fiction; or both one day. 🙂

On this blog, I will post about and reblog all sorts of history, though I tend to gravitate towards the eras/kinds of history I mentioned above since they’re the ones I want to learn more about and I find most fascinating & interesting.