Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal

Maria of Aragon
Portrait of Maria of Aragon, Belem Collection.JPG
Queen consort of Portugal and the Algarves
Reign30 October 1500 – 7 March 1517
Born(1482-06-29)29 June 1482
Córdoba, Kingdom of Castile
Died7 March 1517(1517-03-07) (aged 34)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
BurialJerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
SpouseManuel I of Portugal
IssueJohn III of Portugal
Isabel, Holy Roman Empress
Beatriz, Duchess of Savoy
Luís, Duke of Beja
Ferdinand, Duke of Guarda
Infante Afonso
Henry I of Portugal
Infanta Maria
Duarte, Duke of Guimarães
Infante Antonio
HouseTrastámara
FatherFerdinand II of Aragon
MotherIsabella I of Castile
ReligionRoman Catholic

Maria of Aragon (29 June 1482 – 7 March 1517) was a Spanish infanta, and queen consort of Portugal as the second spouse of Portuguese King Manuel I.

Life

She was born at Córdoba on 29 June 1482 as the third surviving daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon (the Catholic monarchs). She was the fourth of five surviving children and had a twin sister, Anna, who was stillborn.[1]

Queen

As an infanta of Spain, her hand in marriage was very important in European politics; before her marriage to Manuel I of Portugal, her parents entertained the idea of marrying her off to King James IV of Scotland.[2] This was at a time when her younger sister Catherine's marriage to Arthur, Prince of Wales, was being planned. Ferdinand and Isabella thought if Maria was Queen of Scotland, the two sisters could keep the peace between their husbands. These plans, however, came to nothing. Her eldest sister Isabella, Princess of Asturias, was the first wife of Manuel I, but her death in 1498 created a necessity for Manuel to remarry; Maria became the next bride of the Portuguese king, reaffirming dynastic links with Spanish royal houses.

Manuel and Maria were married in Alcácer do Sal on 30 October 1500,[3] and was granted Viseu and Torres Vedras as her dower. She had 10 children, eight of whom reached adulthood, including King John III of Portugal, Holy Roman Empress Isabella of Portugal, and Beatrice, Duchess of Savoy.

Queen Maria became known as a fervent Catholic. She supported king Manuel's religious-imperial project, including the plan to conquer the Mamluk's realm, destroy Mekka and Medina and reconquer Christian holy places such as Jerusalem. She co-founded the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon.[4]

Maria died in Lisbon on 7 March 1517, and was buried at the Jerónimos Monastery of Belém. She died as a result of her last pregnancy.

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