Beatrice of Castile (1242–1303)

For other people named Beatrice of Castile, see Beatrice of Castile (disambiguation).
Beatrice of Castile

Beatrice of Castile, in Antonio de Hollanda's Genealogy of the Royal Houses of Spain and Portugal (1530–1534)
Queen consort of Portugal and the Algarve
Born 1242/44
Died 27 October 1303
Burial Monastery of Alcobaça
Spouse Afonso III of Portugal
Issue See Issue
House House of Ivrea
Father Alfonso X of Castile
Mother Mayor Guillén de Guzmán

Beatrice of Castile (1242/1244 27 October 1303), an illegitimate daughter of Alfonso X of Castile and his mistress Mayor Guillén de Guzmán,[1][2] was the second Queen consort of Afonso III of Portugal.[2][3]

Biographical sketch

She was probably born shortly before 31 December 1244 when her father, King Alfonso, "with the consent of his father" donated Elche to his daughter Beatrice and all the children that he had with Mayor Guillén de Guzmán.[2][3] As part of his strategy to reach an agreement with the Kingdom of Portugal on the sovereignty of the Algarve, King Alfonso X offered his daughter Beatrice in marriage to King Afonso III of Portugal. The wedding was celebrated in 1253.[4] Under the agreement, the king of Castile promised that we would cede all the rights he held in the Algarve to the first male offspring of Alfonso III and Beatrice when the child was seven years' old.[4] The Portuguese nobility considered this marriage "humiliating for the King of Portugal",.[5] Much more serious though, was the fact that when the nuptials took place, the Portuguese monarch was still married to Matilda II, Countess of Boulogne who, in 1255, accused her husband before Pope Alexander IV of bigamy.[6] In 1258, the Roman Pontiff condemned him for adultery, demanded that he return Matilda's dowry[5] and placed him under interdict.[6] Matilda, however, died that year and the Pope's threats were left in suspense.[5]

Until her husband's death, Beatrice had great influence in the Portuguese court and supported the rapprochement of the kingdoms of Portugal and Castile.

When her mother died no later than 1267, she inherited her estates in La Alcarria which included Cifuentes, Viana de Mondejar, Palazuelos, Salmerón, Valdeolivas and Alcocer. In the last-mentioned city, she took under her protection the Monastery of Santa Clara that her mother, Mayor Guillén de Guzmán, had founded.[7]

She returned to Seville in 1282 due to discrepancies with her son, King Denis. Before November 1282, already a widow, she showed her monetary and personal support for her father in the dispute with her half-brother, Infante Sancho, later King Sancho IV. A charter kept at the Torre do Tombo National Archive in Lisbon documents the donation made by King Alfonso X of Castile to his daughter Beatrice of the villas of Mourão, Serpa, Moura with their castles and, on the same day, he also gave her the Kingdom of Niebla and the royal tithes of the city of Badajoz.[3] She remained at her father's side and was at his deathbed in 1284.[3]

Beatrice died on 27 October 1303 and was buried at the Monastery of Alcobaça

Marriage and issue

The bride was about 11 years old and the groom was 42 years old. They had the following children:

Branca25 February 125917 April 1321Lady of Las Huelgas[2][5]-1321)
Dinis9 October 12617 January 1325Succeeded him as 6th King of Portugal; married Infanta Elizabeth of Aragon[8]
Afonso8 February 12632 November 1312Lord of Portalegre; married to Infanta Violante Manuel of Castile (daughter of Manuel of Castile)
Sancha2 February 1264c. 1302 
Maria21 November 12646 June 1304Nun at the Convent of Saint John in Coimbra


Preceded by
Matilda II of Boulogne
Queen consort of Portugal
Succeeded by
Elizabeth of Aragon




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