Doncel was a court appointment in the Crowns of Castile and Aragon during the Late Middle Ages. It was bestowed upon youth from noble families, prior to knighthood. Donceles worked alongside other pajes reales (royal pages) as royal servants and received training by the Alcaide de los Donceles. One of the most famous donceles was Martín Vázquez de Arce, known as the Doncel de Sigüenza, who was page to Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, 1st Duke of the Infantado and died during the Granada War.
Donceles lived in the Royal household during their adolescence. In the court of Peter IV of Aragon in 1356 there were 110 donceles of noble origin (Aragonese, Catalan and Valencian). In the Crown of Castile there were both noble donceles and other pajes and criados who were often not noble. Both pajes and donceles received military training by the Alcaide de los Donceles, a post created by Alfonso XI of Castile around 1340.
In the times of the Reyes Católicos, this kind of royal servant was known as contino, hence named because of their continuous availability. Their tasks were varied, mostly administrative, and they received a fixed salary.
- Ladero Quesada, Miguel Ángel (1998). La Casa Real en la Baja Edad Media (in Spanish). Historia. Instituciones. Documentos No. 25. pp. 327–350.
- León-Borja, István Szászdi (2011). Juan Ponce de León y su época: estudios institucionales de la Conquista (in Spanish). Diputación de Valladolid. p. 136. ISBN 9788478523016.