Eleanor of Castile (died 1244)

Eleanor of Castile (1200[1][2] –1244) was a daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England. She was Queen consort of Aragon by her arranged marriage to James I of Aragon.

Eleanor of Castile
Anverso y reverso del sello de la reina de Aragón Leonor de Castilla y Plantagenet.jpg
Eleanor’s seal
Queen consort of Aragon
Tenure6 February 1221 – April 1229
Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas near Burgos
SpouseJames I of Aragon
IssueAlfonso of Bigorre
HouseCastilian House of Ivrea
FatherAlfonso VIII of Castile
MotherEleanor of England
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Her mother was a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor's sister Berengaria became Queen of Castile since their brother Henry I of Castile died with no issue and because Berengaria was the eldest of the daughters. Another sister, Blanche[3] became Queen of France by her marriage to Louis VIII of France.


In 1221 at Ágreda, Eleanor married James I; she was nineteen and he was fourteen.[2] The next six years of James's reign were full of rebellions on the part of the nobles. By the Peace of Alcalá of 31 March 1227, the nobles and the king came to terms. The pair were married for political reasons rather than love.

The marriage produced one son:

When the marriage was annulled in 1230, the divorce agreement prohibited her from remarrying.[6] Alfonso was declared legitimate, but pre-deceased his father. As a result, his half siblings by James’ second wife Violant of Hungary inherited James’ kingdom when he died.

Later lifeEdit

Eleanor became a nun after her marriage. She went to the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas to join her elder sister Berengaria who had retired from ruling Castile and Leon, and their other sister Constance, who was long a nun there. All three sisters died there, Constance in 1243, Eleanor in 1244, and Berengaria in 1246.[7] All are buried in the Abbey.


Eleanor was buried in the Monastery of Las Huelgas in Burgos.

Her remains were deposited in a tomb which is now located in the Nave of Santa Catarina of the Gospel, and lies between the tomb containing the remains of Philip, son of Sancho IV and María de Molina, which is placed to the right, and the tomb containing the remains of Peter, brother of Philip.

During work on the Monastery in the middle of the twentieth century it was found that the remains of Eleanor, mummified and in good condition, lay in her tomb of limestone; the roof had two slopes and was smooth, although in the past was polychrome.

Her coffin was wooden and devoid of cover, although there were still remnants of its shell and lysed cross made of studded gold braid, as well as clothing that was buried with the Queen, among which highlighted three brocade garments in Arabic, which in the opinion of Manuel Gómez Moreno are similar to those found in the grave of Philip, son of Eleanor's nephew Ferdinand III.



  1. ^ González González, Julio El reino de Castilla en la época de Alfonso VIII. 3 vol. Madrid, 1960 Volumen I pág 211
  2. ^ a b Martínez Díez, Gonzalo (2007) Alfonso VIII: rey de Castilla y Toledo (1158-1214). Ediciones Trea, S.L. 272 págs. ISBN 978-84-9704-327-4 pág 51
  3. ^ Chronica Albrici Monachi Trium Fontium, "Henricum qui iuvenis obiit et quinque sorores, prima Berengaria… secunda Urraca, tertia regina Francie, quarta Alienor, quinta Constantia monialis"
  4. ^ Bisson 1991, p. 200.
  5. ^ Linehan 2011, p. 85.
  6. ^ Shadis 2010, p. 71.
  7. ^ Shadis 2010, p. 4.


  • Bisson, Thomas N. (1991). The Medieval Crown of Aragon: A Short History. Oxford University Press.
  • Linehan, Peter (2011). Spain, 1157-1300: A Particle Inheritance. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Shadis, Miriam (2010). Berenguela of Castile (1180–1246) and Political Women in the High Middle Ages. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-23473-7.
Eleanor of Castile
Cadet branch of the Anscarids
Born: circa 1202 Died: circa 1244
Royal titles
Title last held by
Marie of Montpellier
Queen consort of Aragon
Title next held by
Violant of Hungary