Eleanor of Castile (died 1244)

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Eleanor of Castile
Queen consort of Aragon
Tenure 6 February 1221 – April 1229
Spouse James I of Aragon
Infante Alfonso
House House of Burgundy
Father Alfonso VIII of Castile
Mother Eleanor of England
Born  ?
Died 1244
Las Huelgas near Burgos
Religion Roman Catholicism

Eleanor of Castile (?[1][2] –1244) was a daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England. She was queen consort of Aragon by her arranged marriage to James I of Aragon.


Her mother Eleanor was a daughter of Henry II of England and his wife, Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her father was a son of Sancho III of Castile and Blanche of Navarre (d. 1156); Blanche was a daughter of García Ramírez of Navarre. Eleanor's sister, Berengaria became Queen of Castile since their brother, Henry I of Castile died with no issue and because Berengaria was the eldest of the daughters. Another sister, Blanche became Queen of France by her marriage to Louis VIII of France.


In 1221 at Ágreda, Eleanor married James I; she was nineteen and he was fourteen. The next six years of James's reign were full of rebellions on the part of the nobles. By the Peace of Alcalá of 31 March 1227, the nobles and the king came to terms. The pair were married for political reasons rather than love.

The marriage produced one son:

When the marriage was annulled in 1230, Alfonso was declared legitimate but his half siblings by James's second wife Violant of Hungary inherited James's kingdom when he died.

Later life[edit]

Eleanor became a nun after her marriage, she went to the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas with her elder sister Berengaria of Castile who had retired from ruling Castile and Leon. Both sisters died there, Eleanor died in 1244 and Berengaria died two years later. Both sisters are buried in the Abbey.


After her death, the corpse of Queen Eleanor of Castile was buried in Monastery of Las Huelgas in Burgos.

Her remains were deposited in a tomb which is now placed in the Nave of Santa Catarina or the Gospel, and lies between containing the remains of the infant Philip of Castile, son Sancho IV el Bravo and queen Maria de Molina, which is placed to the right, and containing the remains of the infant Peter of Castile, brother of the former, who died on June 25 of 1319 in the disaster Vega de Granada.

During the examination of the monastery of the strikes carried out in the middle of the twentieth century found that the remains of Queen Eleanor, mummified and in good condition, lay in her tomb of limestone, the roof had two slopes and was smooth, although in the past was polychrome.

The coffin in which were the remains of the queen, whose mummy estaura measured 1'60 metres and was with his hands crossed on her chest, was wooden and devoid of cover, although there were still remnants of its shell and lysed cross made of gold braid studded, as well as clothing that was buried with the Queen, among which highlighted three of brocade garments in Arabic, which in the opinion of Manuel Gómez Moreno are similar to those found in the grave of the infant Philip of Castile, son Ferdinand III, who was buried in the Church of Santa María la Blanca de Sirga Villalcázar.



  1. ^ González González, Julio El reino de Castilla en la época de Alfonso VIII. 3 vol. Madrid, 1960 Volumen I pág 211
  2. ^ Martínez Díez, Gonzalo (2007) Alfonso VIII: rey de Castilla y Toledo (1158-1214). Ediciones Trea, S.L. 272 págs. ISBN 978-84-9704-327-4 pág 51

See also[edit]

Eleanor of Castile
Cadet branch of the Anscarids
Born: circa 1202 Died: circa 1244
Royal titles
Title last held by
Marie of Montpellier
Queen consort of Aragon
Title next held by
Violant of Hungary
Countess consort of Barcelona, Girona, Osona and Besalú
Title last held by
Lady of Montpellier; Viscountess of Carlat, in Auvergne, and Baroness of Aumelas