Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal

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Maria of Aragon
Portrait of Maria of Aragon, Belem Collection.JPG
Queen consort of Portugal and the Algarves
Tenure 30 October 1500 – 7 March 1517
Born (1482-06-29)29 June 1482
Córdoba, Kingdom of Castile
Died 7 March 1517(1517-03-07) (aged 34)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Burial Jerónimos Monastery, Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Spouse Manuel I of Portugal
among others...
See Issue
House Trastámara
Father Ferdinand II of Aragon
Mother Isabella I of Castile
Religion Roman Catholic

Maria of Aragon (29 June 1482 – 7 March 1517) was a Spanish infanta and the second wife of Portuguese King Manuel I, thus queen consort of Portugal from her marriage on 30 October 1500 until her death.


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]

Maria did not inherit the insanity that supposedly ran in the royal family and was said to have affected her sister, Joanna, known as "Joanna (or Joan) the Mad".[2]


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.[3] 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, and 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.

In 1580, the dynastic links from the marriage led to a succession crisis in Portugal that made Philip II of Spain king of Portugal as Philip I of Portugal.


Maria died in Lisbon on 7 March 1517, and was buried at the Jerónimos Monastery of Belém.



Her marriage with Manuel produced the following children:

Crown of Castile
Royal dynasties
House of Trastámara
Royal Coat of Arms of the Crown of Castile (15th Century).svg
Henry II
Children include
John I
Eleanor, Queen of Navarre
John I
Children include
Henry III
Ferdinand I of Aragon
Henry III
Children include
John II
Maria, Queen of Aragon
John II
Children include
Henry IV
Isabella I
Alfonso, Prince of Asturias
Henry IV
Joanna, Queen of Portugal
Isabella I with Ferdinand V
Isabella, Queen of Portugal
John, Prince of Asturias
Joanna I, Queen of Castile
Maria, Queen of Portugal
Catherine, Queen of England
Joanna I
Children include
Charles I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Name Birth Death Notes
King John III 6 June 1502 11 June 1557 succeeded Manuel as King of Portugal. Had issue.
Infanta Isabella 24 October 1503 1 May 1539 married Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Had issue.
Infanta Beatrice 31 December 1504 8 January 1538 married Charles III, Duke of Savoy. Had issue.
Infante Louis, Duke of Beja 3 March 1506 27 November 1555 Unmarried but had illegitimate descendants, one of them being Anthony, Prior of Crato, a claimant of the throne of Portugal in 1580 (See: Struggle for the throne of Portugal).
Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Guarda 5 June 1507 7 November 1534 Married Guiomar Coutinho, Countess of Marialva. No surviving issue.
Infante Afonso 23 April 1509 21 April 1540 Cardinal of the Kingdom.
King Henry 31 January 1512 31 January 1580 Cardinal of the Kingdom who succeeded his grandnephew King Sebastian (Manuel's great-grandson) as 17th King of Portugal. His death triggered the struggle for the throne of Portugal.
Infanta Maria 3 February 1513 Died at birth.
Infante Edward, Duke of Guimarães 7 October 1515 20 September 1540 Duke of Guimarães and great-grandfather of John IV of Portugal. Married Isabella of Braganza, daughter of Jaime, Duke of Braganza.
Infante Anthony 9 September 1516 Died at birth.

Her widowed husband remarried yet once more,in 1518, also this time from her family: Maria's niece Eleanor of Austria.


Media related to Maria of Aragon at Wikimedia Commons

  1. Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Aragon
  2. Cawley
  3. e.g., Calendar State Papers Spain, vol. 1 (1862) no. 210, Pedro de Ayala to Ferdinand and Isabella, 25 July 1498.
  4. She was the daughter John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster to his first wife Blanche of Lancaster, making her half-sister of Katherine of Aragon's maternal great-grandmother Catherine of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster to his second wife Constance of Castile.
Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal
Born: 29 June 1482 Died: 7 March 1517
Portuguese royalty
Preceded by
Isabella of Aragon
Queen Consort of Portugal
30 October 1500 – 7 March 1517
Succeeded by
Eleanor of Austria