|Constance Manuel of Villena|
Effigy of Constance Manuel in a 1645 Genealogy of the Kings of Portugal (National Library of Portugal)
|Queen consort of Castile|
Castillo de Garcimuñoz
|Died||13 November 1345
|Spouse||Alfonso XI of Castile
Peter I of Portugal
|Infanta Maria, Marchioness of Tortosa
Ferdinand I of Portugal
|Father||Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena|
|Mother||Constance of Aragon|
Constanza Manuel of Villena (1315/1323 – 13 November 1345) was the daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (1282–1348), called "el escritor" (the writer), Duke of Peñafiel, and his second wife Constance of Aragon, a daughter of James II of Aragon.
Early life and first marriage
Constance was a Castilian noblewoman, whose exact date of birth is unknown, occurring sometime between 1315 and 1323. Constance was a paternal great-granddaughter of King Ferdinand I of Castile. Her maternal grandparents were James II of Aragon and his second wife Blanche of Anjou.
In Valladolid on 28 November 1325, the young Constance married Alfonso XI of Castile, they were married for only two years when Alfonso had the marriage dissolved and remarried to Maria of Portugal, who gave him a son, Peter of Castile.
Constance was imprisoned in a castle in Toro while her father waged war against Alfonso XI until 1329. Eventually, the two reached a peaceful accord after mediation by Juan del Campo, Bishop of Oviedo; this secured Constance's release from prison.
Afonso IV quickly learned that his daughter Maria was being mistreated by her husband King Alfonso (Constance's ex-husband). Constance's father had been rebuffed by the king when she was rejected in favor of the Portuguese infanta. Feeling as though his daughter was being dishonored, Afonso was glad to enter into an alliance with Juan Manuel and married his son and heir, Peter, to Constance. They married on 24 August 1340 in Lisbon.
When Constance arrived in Portugal, Inês de Castro, the daughter of an aristocratic Castilian land-owner, accompanied her as her lady-in-waiting. Peter fell in love with Inês very quickly, and the two conducted an affair that lasted until Constance's death in 1345. The scandal of this affair caused Afonso to banish Inês from court, but this did not end the relationship, and the two began living together in secret.
Constance died on the 13 November 1345, weeks after giving birth to her son and future King of Portugal, Fernando. She was buried four years later in Santarém, Portugal. Her husband presumably married Inês after Constance's death; however, Inês was later murdered on the orders of King Afonso. Peter became King twelve years after Constance's death in 1357.
They had three children:
- Maria (1342 – aft. 1375), married to Infante Ferdinand of Aragon, son of Alfonso IV of Aragon.
- Louis (1344).
- Ferdinand I of Portugal (31 October 1345 – 29 October 1383), 9th King of Portugal.
|Ancestors of Constanza Manuel|
- Pretel Marín; Rodríguez Llopis, Miguel (1989). El señorío de Villena en el siglo XIV (PDF) (in Spanish). Albacete: Instituto de Estudios Albacetenses «Don Juan Manuel», Excma. Diputación de Albacete. ISBN 84-600-2900-X.
- Rodrigues Oliveira, Ana (2010). Rainhas medievais de Portugal. Dezassete mulheres, duas dinastias, quatro séculos de História (in Portuguese). Lisbon: A esfera dos livros. ISBN 978-989-626-261-7.
Constanza ManuelBorn: circa 1315/1323 Died: 13 November 1345
Title last held byConstance of Portugal
Queen consort of Castile
Title next held byMaria of Portugal