Stephanie, Queen of Navarre

Stephanie or Estefania (died after 1066) was the Queen consort of Navarre by marriage to García Sánchez III of Navarre. Early chroniclers are in conflict over her parentage.

Tomb monument of Stephanie in Santa María la Real, Nájera, La Rioja.

OriginsEdit

ParentageEdit

Stephanie was born at an unknown date,[1] and is first recorded as wife of García in a document dated 1038/40. The Chronicle of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif would make Stephanie wife first of Roger I of Tosny, then of García, and sister of Ramon Berenguer I, Count of Barcelona and hence daughter of Berenguer Ramon I, Count of Barcelona. This would call for prohibitively tight chronology, and does not fit with Roger's known widow, Godehildis, marrying a Norman lord. Adémar de Chabannes has Roger marrying an unnamed daughter of Ermesinde of Carcassonne, widow of Ramon Borrell, count of Barcelona and mother of Berenguer Ramon I, but he makes no mention of Roger's wife then marrying García. It is uncertain if the Chronicle misplaced Stephanie by a generation or was mistaken in identifying Roger's wife with the later queen of Navarre. French historians of Languedoc tend to see García's wife as daughter of Ermesinde's brother Bernard-Roger, Count of Bigorre and his wife Garsenda, and thus sister of Gerberge, wife of Ramiro I of Aragón.

Possible first marriageEdit

There are other hints, besides the dubious account of the Chronicle of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif, to an earlier marriage by Stephanie. Histoire Générale de Languedoc, giving no quote or source reference, reports the existence of a 1036 marriage contract attributed to Stephanie.[2] An episode related in the Chronica Naierensis tells that a daughter of queen Stephanie by a prior husband was promised as wife to Sancho II of Castile, but she was abducted and married by an illegitimate son of García. Jaime de Salazar y Acha suggests that this represents the authentic account of the marriage of García's bastard son, Sancho Garcés, Lord of Uncastillo, to his wife Constanza, though traditional accounts give her different parentage. He recognizes the problem with identifying the father with Roger I of Tosny and follows an alternative reconstruction that would make the Iberian crusader a distinct Roger de Tosny, nephew of Roger I.[3]

IssueEdit

Stephanie had the following children by García:

  • Sancho IV "El de Peñalén", king of Navarre, married Placencia
  • Ramiro (d.1083), lord of Calahorra
  • Ferdinand Garcés, lord of Bucesta
  • Raymond Garcés "the Fratricide" (Ramón el Fratricida), lord of Murillo and Cameros
  • Ermesinda Garcés, married Fortún Sánchez de Yarnoz
  • Mayor Garcés[4]
  • Urraca Garcés (d.1108), married Castilian count García Ordóñez
  • Jimena[5]

She may also have been mother by an earlier marriage, perhaps to Roger Ι of Tosny, of:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ II #56, III.1 #145; Moriarty, Plantagenet Ancestry of King Edward III and Queen Philippa of Hainault, p80, 109
  2. ^ Histoire Générale de Languedoc; 3rd edn. Tome IV, p. 117, citing Marca (Béarn), p. 709.
  3. ^ Jaime de Salazar y Acha, "Nuevos datos para la identificación familiar de la reina Estefanía de Pamplona", Príncipe de Viana vol. 68 (2007), no. 242, pp. 853-864
  4. ^ Her alleged marriage to Guy II de Maçón has been contested. Her last appearance is at the Monastery of Santa María la Real of Najera on 14 May 1077, as Maior, Garsiae regis filia, making a donation post obitum of some houses in Nájera and properties in Villela, Atayo and Janua.
  5. ^ Appears for the last time on 27 May 1085 at the Monastery of Santa María la Real of Najera confirming a donation made by her brother Ramiro.