The story of Juana la Beltraneja, the forgotten heiress of Castile

If, in addition to everything we know about the history of Spain, we dare to go one step further, we will most likely begin to discover (more than dates and historical facts). We talk about the history of Juana la Beltraneja.

They are people who marked other times and whose history undoubtedly reaches our present to also mark the present as interesting precedents.

As you surely know, there are various personalities that have gone down in history by their nickname, which has made them more notable and known thanks to that nickname, although it is not always a compliment or a positive adjective!

That, for example, is the case of Juana de Castilla, better known as Juana la Beltraneja, that niece of Isabel de Castilla and went down in history for the humiliation to which she was subjected throughout her life due to doubts about the true identity of her father, because although it was said that it was Enrique, no one could ever prove it and he himself never tried to defend the honor of his supposed daughter.

First of all, it should be noted that her life was marked because she was removed from her rank, she had to renounce by treaty all her titles and lordships, even her quality as Castilian Infanta and Highness.

In this way he ended up being called “Excellent Senhora” by a Portuguese decree and ended on fend of their lives in exile in Portugal.

Juana la Beltraneja is known as the forgotten because not so much is known in her life, compared to her aunt, Isabel of Castilla, who made her shade.

If you want to know more, we will tell you the most interesting details about the life of the so-called “forgotten heiress of Castile” because the truth is that there is much to talk about!

His family, origin and reign

Although Juana was born in Madrid in 1462, daughter of Enrique IV, King of Castile, and Juana of Portugal, since she arrived in the world her birth was involved in gossip and gossip because her supposed father was known as ‘the Impotent’, so it was believed that Juana de Portugal had consummated with another man and that the little girl had been born as a result of it.

Still it was proclaimed queen of Castilla y León, queen consort of Portugal, princess of Asturias and heir to the kingdom, although her reign was not as good as she would have liked.

This happened because, due to his uncertain origin, there were many people who turned against him, and that would not have been important if it had only been gossip, but in the War of the Castilian Succession, the loyalty that the people owed him was seen compromised by this controversy and caused that from the death of her father, many people became supporters of Isabel la Católica.

That conflict concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Alcáçova, which recognized Isabel and Fernando as the Kings of Castile and, as a consequence, Juana was forced to renounce her rights to the throne and reside in Portugal until the day of her death.

The nickname that marked her

So, you must ask yourself where the nickname that poor Juana received comes from, because although she always did her job, she never managed to win the support of her people because of the history that surrounded her conception and birth.

The truth is that when the true identity of his father was being questioned, many people attributed the title of paternity (even without having proof) to a man close to the king called Beltrán de la Cueva, and that is why from here on he Juana la Beltraneja began to call.

That, however, seems that after having studied the case, it does not add up because temporarily Beltrán de la Cueva is not placed in the same period of time in which Juana was born!

In addition, after the death of King Henry IV, some studies were made and a report resulted that, although included various abnormalities in his behavior, it did not confirm that he was truly incapable of procreation, so today it cannot be ruled out that Juana was truly his daughter.

Her end was sad because, as we have mentioned, she had to be exiled to Portugal. There, one of the dates that marked her was the year 1522, while Castile was involved in a new civil war, Juana tested her rights to the crown of Castile in favor of King Juan III of Portugal.8

His death was in the neighboring country, since he died in the year 1530 when he was in Portugal. His mortal remains are currently missing, as a result of the Lisbon earthquake.

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