Elvira of Castile, Queen of Sicily
Elvira of Castile (c. 1100 – 8 February 1135) was the first Queen of Sicily.
Background and upbringing
She was a daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile by his fourth queen, Isabella (perhaps identical to the Moslem convert Zaida of Seville, baptized as Isabel, who had been Alfonso's mistress). Elvira was raised in Toledo, so she must have gotten used to a significant level of convivencia which was present in Sicily as well.
Elvira married Count Roger II of Sicily in 1117, but only infrequently saw him thereafter, for he was much preoccupied with rebellions on the Italian Peninsula and she stayed with her children in Palermo the capital. Despite this, the marriage was undoubtedly happy. In 1130, she became queen of Sicily when her husband had himself crowned king. She bore Roger five sons and one daughter by 1135.
In 1135, both Roger and Elvira fell ill. The illness was grave and infectious. Roger survived, but Elvira did not. Her death put Roger in such a deep depression that he spent days alone in his room which made people think he had died. This unusual reaction proves that the marriage of Roger and Elvira was not yet another medieval political affair, but an extraordinary happy union. Roger remained a widower for fifteen years and remarried only when four out of five of his sons with Elvira died.
- Roger (b. 1118 – d. 12 May 1148), heir, Duke of Apulia (from 1135), possibly also Count of Lecce.
- Tancred (b. 1119 – d. 1138), Prince of Bari (from 1135).
- Alfonso (b. 1120/1121 – d. 10 October 1144), Prince of Capua (from 1135) and Duke of Naples.
- A daughter (d. young, 1135).
- William (b. 1131 – d. 7 May 1166), his successor, Duke of Apulia (from 1148)
- Henry (b. 1135 – d. in infancy).
|New title||Queen consort of Sicily
1130 – 8 February 1135
Sibylla of Burgundy