Blanche of Navarre, Queen of Castile
|Blanca Garcés of Nájera|
|Died||12 August 1156|
|Noble family||House of Jiménez|
|Spouse(s)||Sancho III of Castile|
|Father||García Ramírez of Navarre|
|Mother||Margaret of L'Aigle|
Blanche of Navarre (Basque: Blanka Garzeitz, Spanish: Blanca Garcés; aft. 1133, Laguardia, Álava – August 12, 1156) was Queen of Castile, the daughter of King García Ramírez of Navarre and his first wife Margaret of L'Aigle.
Blanca married Sancho III of Castile, regent of Castile (subject to his father Alfonso VII) on January 30, 1151 in Calahorra, Logroño. As was traditional, Blanca confirmed documents with her husband, so her activity may be traced until 1155. On November 11, 1155 she gave birth to the future king Alfonso VIII. There appears to be no record of her activities after December 1155, and she died on August 12, 1156. The cause of her death seems to have been complications of a new pregnancy, a child named García. In addition, she had other children buried in the church of San Pedro in Soria, although they are not identified. That her death was caused by a pregnancy is recorded in an epitaph engraved on her tomb, however, the engraving did not survive a reconstruction of the royal tombs in Nájera during the sixteenth century. Fortunately, her sarcophagus lid was preserved, and it represents the queen's deathbed with members of the court, including her husband, mourning her passing. Blanca was buried in the pantheon of the Navarrese kings in the monastery called Santa María la Real of Nájera, to which Sancho made donations on her behalf. The sarcophagus of the queen is regarded as a primary example of the ability to express human emotions in visual images in the 12th century.
She and Sancho had two named sons:
- Alfonso VIII of Castile
- Infante García, who died at birth in 1156, apparently also resulting in the death of Blanche
|Ancestors of Blanche of Navarre, Queen of Castile|
- Gonzalez, Julio (1960). El reino de Castilla en la epoca de Alfonso VIII, vol. 1. Madrid: CSIC Escuela de Estudios Medievales. p. 145, note 37.
- Porreño, Baltasar. "Historia del Santo Rey Alonso el bueno y noble, noveno de este nombre entre los Reyes de Castilla y León, Mss/778 (nineteenth-century copy), fol. 3r,". Biblioteca Digital Hispánica. Biblioteca Nacional de España. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- Valdez del Alamo, Elizabeth (1996). "Lament for a Lost Queen". Art Bulletin. 78 (2): 311.