Constanza Manuel

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Constance Manuel of Villena
Constança Manuel.jpg
Effigy of Constance Manuel in a 1645 Genealogy of the Kings of Portugal (National Library of Portugal)
Queen consort of Castile
Castillo de Garcimuñoz
Died13 November 1345
Santarém, Portugal
Santarém, Portugal
SpouseAlfonso XI of Castile
Peter I of Portugal
Among others
Infanta Maria, Marchioness of Tortosa
Ferdinand I of Portugal
HouseCastilian House of Ivrea
FatherJuan Manuel, Prince of Villena
MotherConstance of Aragon
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Constanza Manuel of Villena (1315/1323 – 13 November 1345) was the daughter of Castilian nobleman and writer Don Juan Manuel (1282–1348), Duke of Peñafiel, and his second wife Constance of Aragon, daughter of James II of Aragon.

While still a child she became the first wife of future King Alfonso XI of Castile (1311–50), also a child at the time, in Valladolid. The marriage was annulled in 1327.

Early life and first marriage[edit]

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 was remarried to Maria of Portugal, who gave him a son, Peter of Castile.[1]

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.

Second marriage[edit]

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.





  • 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 Manuel
Born: circa 1315/1323 Died: 13 November 1345
Royal titles
Title last held by
Constance of Portugal
Queen consort of Castile
Title next held by
Maria of Portugal