Eleanor of Alburquerque

Eleanor of Alburquerque (1374 – 16 December 1435) was a Castilian noblewoman, Countess of Alburquerque, became who Queen of Aragon by her marriage to Ferdinand I of Aragon. She was the regent of Aragon during the absence of her son the king in 1420.[1]

Eleanor of Albuquerque
Eleanor queen.jpg
Eleanor's tomb effigy
Queen consort of Aragon
Tenure3 September 1412 – 2 April 1416
Aldeadávila de la Ribera
Died16 December 1435 (aged 60)
Medina del Campo
SpouseFerdinand I of Aragon
IssueAlfonso V of Aragon
Maria, Queen of Castile
John II of Aragon
Henry of Aragon, Duke of Villena
Eleanor, Queen of Portugal
Pedro of Aragon, Count of Alburquerque
Sancho of Aragon
FatherSancho Alfonso
MotherBeatrice of Portugal
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Coat of arms of Eleanor of Alburquerque as queen consort.


Eleanor was born in Aldeadavila de la Ribera, province of Salamanca. Her father was Sancho Alfonso, 1st Count of Alburquerque, who was an illegitimate son of King Alfonso XI of Castile[2] and his mistress Eleanor of Guzman, and a brother of King Henry II of Castile. Her mother was Infanta Beatrice, Countess of Alburquerque, who was daughter of Peter I of Portugal and Ines de Castro.[2] Eleanor's brother was Ferdinand, 2nd Count of Alburquerque.

Marriage and queenshipEdit

Eleanor was originally betrothed to Frederick, illegitimate son of Henry II of Castile, however this engagement was broken off.

Upon the death of the sickly John I of Castile on October 9 of 1390 the Regency Council addressed the issue of the heir presumptive, Infante Henry at the time eleven years of age and his brother Infante Ferdinand, who was then ten years old. It was agreed that Ferdinand could not marry before his brother Henry reached the age of fourteen. Then he would be granted the privileges and social policies majority.

Peter I of Castile was murdered in March 1369 by his bastard brother Henry. The representatives of the clergy, the nobility, the state of the gentry and merchants, as well as the authorized legal representatives of some Castillian cities agreed that Henry's grandson Infante Henry should marry the granddaughter of the murdered Peter, the English princess Catherine of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt. As the elder brother, Henry, fulfilled these requirements then so should his brother Infante Ferdinand, with a good wife who was honorable and rich.

It was then heard that Eleanor of Alburquerque was sixteen and old enough to marry. She expressed her agreement in marriage but could not take place as Ferdinand was not yet ten years old. She owned the towns of Haro, Briones, Vilforado, Ledesma with the five towns, Albuquerque, the Codesera, Azagala, Alconchel, Medellin, Alconétar and Villalon, a gift from John I of Castile. This made Eleanor a very attractive offer to Ferdinand.

In 1394, Eleanor and Ferdinand were married. The marriage is described as a happy one. In 1412, Ferdinand and Eleanor became King and Queen of Aragon after the Compromise of Caspe. Eleanor was crowned in 1414.

Later lifeEdit

Ferdinand died in 1416, aged 36 years. Eleanor, who was then 42 years old, retired to Medina del Campo. When her son the king left for Italy in 1420, he appointed her to act as his regent during his absence.

The Royal Palace of Medina del Campo, birthplace of her husband and her children, was transformed into the Convent of Santa María la Real. There, Eleanor witnessed her children fighting against the royalist party led by Álvaro de Luna.[3] Eleanor lost some of her possessions as a benefit for the latter.

In 1435 her sons, the princes of Aragon were taken prisoners of the Genoese after the naval battle of Ponza.

Eleanor died in Medina del Campo, province of Valladolid, in 1435. Her grave is in the Convent of Santa María la Real, in a simple grave on the floor. It has a tablet that is stone Toledo dark, with the Royal Arms carved on it.


She had seven children:



  1. ^ "Leonor Urraca de Castilla | Real Academia de la Historia".
  2. ^ a b c d Earenfight 2015, p. 142.
  3. ^ "Aragonese Encyclopedia". Archived from the original on 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  4. ^ Earenfight 2015, p. 143.
  5. ^ de Sousa, Antonio Caetano (1735). Historia genealogica da casa real portugueza [Genealogical History of the Royal House of Portugal] (in Portuguese). Vol. 2. Lisboa Occidental. p. 497.


Eleanor of Alburquerque
Born: circa 1374 Died: 16 December 1435
Royal titles
Title last held by
Margaret of Prades
Queen consort of Aragon,
Majorca, Valencia and Sicily

Succeeded by
Spanish nobility
Preceded by Countess of Alburquerque
Succeeded by