Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eleanor of England
Queen consort of Castile
Tenure September 1177 – 5 October 1214
Spouse Alfonso VIII of Castile
Berengaria, Queen of León and Castile
Infante Sancho of Castile
Infanta Sancha of Castile
Infante Henry of Castile
Urraca, Queen of Portugal
Blanche, Queen of France
Infante Ferdinand of Castile
Infanta Mafalda of Castile
Eleanor, Queen of Aragon
Infanta Constance of Castile
Henry I of Castile
House House of Plantagenet
Father Henry II of England
Mother Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine
Born 13 October 1162(1162-10-13)
Domfront Castle, Normandy
Died 31 October 1214 (aged 52)
Burgos, Castile
Burial Las Huelgas, Burgos

Eleanor of England (known in Castilian as Leonor; 13 October 1162 – 31 October 1214) was Queen of Castile and Toledo as wife of Alfonso VIII of Castile. She was a daughter of Henry II of England and his wife, Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine.


Early life

She was born in the castle at Domfront, Normandy, and was baptised by Henry of Marcy. She was the sixth child and second daughter of King Henry II of England and his wife, Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine.[1] Her godfather was the chronicler Robert of Torigny, who had a special interest in her and recorded her life as best he could. She received her first name as a namesake of her mother, whose name "Eleanor" (or Alienor) had previously been unrecorded though may have been related to the Greek Helen or the Italian Elena. Another view holds that in the Occitan language, Eleanor simply meant "the other Aenor", since Eleanor of Aquitaine was named for her mother, called Aenor.


Eleanor was a younger maternal half-sister of Marie de Champagne and Alix of France. She was a younger sister of William IX, Count of Poitiers, Henry the Young King, Matilda, Duchess of Saxony, Richard I of England and Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany. She was also an older sister of Queen Joan of Sicily and King John of England.


When she was 14 years old, before 17 September 1177, she was married to King Alfonso VIII of Castile in Burgos.[2][3] The marriage was arranged to secure the Pyrennean border, with Gascony offered as her dowry.

Of all Eleanor of Aquitaine's daughters, her namesake Eleanor best inherited her mother's political influence. She was almost as powerful as her husband, who specified in his will that she was to rule alongside their son in the event of his death. It was she who persuaded him to marry their daughter Berengaria to the King of Leon in the interest of peace.

When Alfonso died, his Queen was reportedly so devastated with grief that she was unable to preside over the burial. Their eldest daughter, Berengaria, instead performed these honors. Eleanor then took sick and died only twenty-eight days after her husband, and was buried at Las Huelgas Abbey in Burgos.


She and her husband had the following surviving issue:[3][4]

Name Birth Death Notes
Infanta Berenguela (Berengaria) Burgos,
1 January/
June 1180
Las Huelgas near Burgos,
8 November 1246
Married firstly in Seligenstadt on 23 April 1188 with Duke Conrad II of Swabia, but the union (only by contract and never solemnized) was later annulled. Married in Valladolid between 1/16 December 1197 with King Alfonso IX of León as her second wife.[5] After their marriage was dissolved on grounds of consanguinity in 1204, she returned to her homeland and became regent of her minor brother King Henry I. Queen of Castile in her own right after the death of Henry I in 1214, inmediately abdicated in favor of her son.
Infante Sancho Burgos,
5 April 1181
26 July 1181 Heir of the throne since his birth, died aged three months.
Infanta Sancha 20/28 March 1182 3 February 1184/
16 October 1185
Died in infancy.
Infante Enrique (Henry) 1184 1184? Heir of the throne since his birth, died either shortly after been born or in infancy. His existence is disputed among sources.
Infanta Urraca 1186/
28 May 1187
3 November 1220
Married in 1206 to Prince Alfonso, who succeeded his father in 1212 as King Alfonso II of Portugal.
Infanta Blanca (Blanche) Palencia,
4 March 1188
27 November 1252
Married in the Abbaye de Port-Mort near Pont-Audemer, Normandy on 23 May 1200 with Prince Louis, who succeeded his father in 1223 as King Louis VIII of France. Regent of the Kingdom of France during her son's minority (1226–1234) and during his absence on the Seventh Crusade.
Infante Fernando (Ferdinand) Cuenca,
29 September 1189
14 October 1211
Heir of the throne since his birth. On whose behalf Diego of Acebo and the future Saint Dominic travelled to Denmark in 1203 to secure a bride[6] He died soon after returning from campaigning against the Moors.
Infanta Mafalda Plasencia,
Betrothed in 1204 to Infante Ferdinand of Leon, eldest son of King Alfonso IX and stepson of her oldest sister.
Infanta Constanza (Constance) 1195 Las Huelgas,
A nun at the Cistercian monastery of Santa María la Real at Las Huelgas in 1217, she later became Abbess of her community.
Infanta Leonor (Eleanor) 1202 Las Huelgas,
Married in Ágreda on 6 February 1221 with King James I of Aragon. After her marriage was dissolved on grounds of consanguinity in April 1229, she became a nun at the Cistercian monastery of Santa María la Real at Las Huelgas.
King Enrique I (Henry I) of Castile Valladolid,
14 April 1204
6 June 1217
Only surviving son, he succeeded his father in 1214 aged ten under the regency firstly of his mother and later his oldest sister Berengaria. Married in Burgos before 29 August 1215 with Infanta Mafalda of Portugal, the union was unconsummated and disolved in 1216 on grounds of consanguinity. Soon after his divorce was betrothed with Infanta Sancha of León, eldest daughter of King Alfonso IX and stepdaughter of her oldest sister, but died killed by a tile coming off a roof before the marriage could be solemnized.



  1. ^ Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. London: Vintage Books, 2008, p. 64.
  2. ^ ENGLAND KINGS 1066-1603
  3. ^ a b Weir, 64.
  4. ^ CASTILE
  5. ^ New international encyclopedia, Vol.13, (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1915), 782.
  6. ^ Vicaire. pp 89–98.


  • Fraser, Antonia. The Middle Ages, A Royal History of England. University of California Press, 2000. ISBN 0520227999.
  • Gillingham, John. "Events and Opinions: Norman and English Views of Aquitaine, c.1152–c.1204." The World of Eleanor of Aquitaine: Literature and Society in Southern France between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries, edd. Marcus Bull and Catherine Léglu. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2005. ISBN 1 84383 114 7.
  • Rada Jiménez, Rodrigo. Historia de los hechos de España.
  • Weir, Alison. Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. London: Vintage Books, 2008. ISBN 009953973X.
  • Wheeler, Bonnie, and Parsons, John Carmi. Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady. Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. ISBN 0230602363.

External links

Spanish royalty
Preceded by
Richeza of Poland
Queen consort of Castile
Succeeded by
Mafalda of Portugal


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address