Joanna of Castile

Joanna of Castile

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Joanna nicknamed Joanna the Mad , was the first queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....

 to reign over both the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 (1504–55) and the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 (1516–55), a union which evolved into modern Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Besides the kingdoms of Spain, she also ruled the kingdoms of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia
The Kingdom of Sardinia consisted of the island of Sardinia first as a part of the Crown of Aragon and subsequently the Spanish Empire , and second as a part of the composite state of the House of Savoy . Its capital was originally Cagliari, in the south of the island, and later Turin, on the...

, Sicily
Kingdom of Sicily
The Kingdom of Sicily was a state that existed in the south of Italy from its founding by Roger II in 1130 until 1816. It was a successor state of the County of Sicily, which had been founded in 1071 during the Norman conquest of southern Italy...

, and Naples
Kingdom of Naples
The Kingdom of Naples, comprising the southern part of the Italian peninsula, was the remainder of the old Kingdom of Sicily after secession of the island of Sicily as a result of the Sicilian Vespers rebellion of 1282. Known to contemporaries as the Kingdom of Sicily, it is dubbed Kingdom of...

 in Italy; a vast colonial empire in the Americas
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

; and was Countess of Burgundy and the consort of the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

, thus initiating Spanish interests there. She was the last monarch of the House of Trastámara and her marriage to Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

 initiated the rule of the Habsburgs in Spain. Throughout most of her long reign she was under the regency
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of either her husband, father or son, and she was long confined to a nunnery under the pretense of mental illness.

Early life



Joanna was born in the ancient Visigothic city of Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

, the capital of the Kingdom of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

. She was the third child and second daughter of Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 and Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 of the royal House of Trastámara. Joanna was an intelligent child and student. In the Castilian court her main tutors were the Dominican priest
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 Andrés de Miranda, the respected educator Beatriz Galindo
Beatriz Galindo
Beatriz Galindo, sometimes spelt Beatrix, was a Spanish physician, and educator. She was a writer and humanist, preceptor of Queen Isabella of Castile and her children. She was one of the most educated women of her time...

 who was a member of the queen's court, and her mother the queen. She was accomplished in religious studies, court etiquette, the arts of dance and music, and equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 skills. Joanna mastered all of the Iberian Romance languages
Iberian Romance languages
The Iberian Romance languages or Ibero-Romance languages are the Romance languages that developed on the Iberian Peninsula, an area consisting primarily of Spain, Portugal, and Andorra....

: Castilian
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, Leonese
Leonese language
The Leonese language is the endonym term used to refer to all vernacular Romance dialects of the Astur-Leonese linguistic group in the Spanish provinces of León and Zamora; Astur-Leonese also includes the dialects...

, Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese
Galician-Portuguese or Old Portuguese was a West Iberian Romance language spoken in the Middle Ages, in the northwest area of the Iberian Peninsula. It was first spoken in the area bounded in the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and the Douro River in the south but it was later extended south...

 and Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

. She also was fluent in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

. She was trained and educated for a significant marriage that, as a royal family alliance, would extend the kingdoms' power and security as well as its influence and peaceful relations with other ruling powers. As an infanta she was not expected to be heiress to the throne of either Castile or Aragon, although through deaths she later inherited both.

Joanna was said to have been an extremely attractive woman during her youth. She had a fair complexion, blue eyes and her hair colour was between reddish
Red hair
Red hair occurs on approximately 1–2% of the human population. It occurs more frequently in people of northern or western European ancestry, and less frequently in other populations...

-blond
Blond
Blond or blonde or fair-hair is a hair color characterized by low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin. The resultant visible hue depends on various factors, but always has some sort of yellowish color...

e and auburn; these were typical traits in the Trastámara family which descended from Peter I of Castile. English ambassadors at Valencia on 23 June 1505 attempted to give a detailed description of her appearance according to fifteen criteria though her clothing hampered their estimation.

Marriage


In 1496, Joanna, at the age of sixteen, was betrothed to Philip the Handsome
Philip I of Castile
Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

, Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks...

 (titular
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

), in the region of Flanders in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

. Philip's parents were Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

 and his first wife, Duchess Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy ruled the Burgundian territories in Low Countries and was suo jure Duchess of Burgundy from 1477 until her death...

. The marriage was one of a set of family alliances between the Habsburgs and the Trastámara
Trastámara
The House of Trastámara was a dynasty of kings in the Iberian Peninsula, which first governed in Castile beginning in 1369 before expanding its rule into Aragón, Navarre and Naples.They were a cadet illegitimate line of the House of Burgundy....

s designed to strengthen both against growing French power. Joanna entered a proxy marriage
Proxy marriage
A proxy wedding or is a wedding in which the bride or groom is not physically present, usually being represented instead by another person...

 at the Palacio de los Vivero
Royal Audiencia and Chancillería of Valladolid
The Royal Audiencia and Chancellería of Valladolid was a Spanish judicial institution set up in Valladolid in 1371, with jurisdiction over all of the territories of the Crown of Castile. It was the first Spanish audiencia to be established...

 in the city of Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

, Castile (her parents had secretly married there in 1469). In August 1496 Joanna left from the port of Laredo
Laredo, Cantabria
Laredo is a town in the Northern Spanish province and autonomous community of Cantabria.Located between the cities of Santander and Bilbao, Laredo is known in the region and nationally for "La Salvé", its 5 km long beach and for the historic part of town dating back to Roman times...

 in northern Spain on the Atlantic's Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

. She would not see her mother or siblings again except for her younger sister Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 in 1506, who was then the Princess Dowager of Wales. She would see her father Ferdinand II again in the course of his ruthless efforts to prevent her and Philip from gaining and then from keeping their crowns.
Joanna began her journey to Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

, which consisted of parts of the present day Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, on 22 August 1496. The formal marriage took place on 20 October 1496 in Lier
Lier, Belgium
Lier is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Lier proper and the village of Koningshooikt. On January 1, 2010 Lier had a total population of 33,930. The total area is 49.70 km² which gives a population density of 669 inhabitants per...

, north of present day Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

. Between 1498 and 1507, she gave birth to six children: two emperors and four queens.
Joanna's life with Philip was rendered extremely unhappy by his infidelity and her political insecurity. He consistently attempted to usurp her legal birthrights to power. This led in no small part to rumors of her insanity, stoked by reports of her depressive or neurotic acts while she was imprisoned or manipulated by her husband. Before her mother's death in 1504, husband and wife were already living apart.

Princess of Asturias


The death of Joanna's brother John, the stilbirth of John's daughter and the deaths of Joanna's older sister Isabella and Isabella's son Miguel made Joanna heiress to the Spanish kingdoms. Her remaining siblings were Maria
Maria of Aragon (1482-1517)
Maria of Aragon 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.-Family:She was born at Córdoba on 29 June 1482 as the third surviving daughter of Isabella I of...

 (1482–1517) and Catherine
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 (1485–1536), younger than Joanna by three and six years, respectively. In 1502, the Castilian Cortes of Toro recognized Joanna as heiress to the Castilian throne and Philip as her consort. She was named Princess of Asturias
Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias is the historical title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. It was also the title under the earlier Kingdom of Castile. The current Prince of Asturias is Felipe, son of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofía...

, the title traditionally given to the heir of Castile. Also in 1502, the Aragonese Cortes gathered in Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

 to swear an oath to Joanna as heiress; however, the Archbishop of Saragossa expressed firmly that this oath could only establish jurisprudence by way of a formal agreement on the succession between the Cortes and the king.

In 1502, Philip, Joanna and a large part of the Burgundian court
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 traveled to Spain for Joanna to receive fealty from the Cortes
Cortes Generales
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a bicameral parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate . The Cortes has power to enact any law and to amend the constitution...

 of Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 as Princess of Asturias
Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias is the historical title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. It was also the title under the earlier Kingdom of Castile. The current Prince of Asturias is Felipe, son of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofía...

, heiress to the Castilian throne, a journey chronicled in great detail by Antoon I van Lalaing . Philip and the majority of the court returned to the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 in the following year, leaving a pregnant Joanna in Madrid where she gave birth to her and Philip's fourth child, Ferdinand, later a central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

an monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

 and Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 as Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

.

Reign



Succession


Upon the death of her mother in November 1504, Joanna became Queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....

 of Castile and her husband jure uxoris
Jure uxoris
Jure uxoris is a Latin term that means "by right of his wife" or "in right of a wife". It is commonly used to refer to a title held by a man whose wife holds it in her own right. In other words, he acquired the title simply by being her husband....

its king. Joanna's father, Ferdinand II, lost his monarchical status in Castile although his wife's will permitted him to govern in Joanna's absence or, if Joanna was unwilling to rule herself, until Joanna's heir reached the age of 20. Ferdinand refused to accept this: he minted
History of mints
The history of mints begins in the 7th century BC, when the first mint was likely established in Lydia for coining gold, silver and electrum. The Lydian innovation of manufacturing coins under the authority of the state spread to neighboring Greece, and from there spread to other areas of the...

 Castilian coins in the name of "Ferdinand and Joanna, King and Queen of Castile, Léon and Aragon," and, in early 1505, persuaded the Cortes that Joanna's "illness is such that the said Queen Doña Joanna our Lady cannot govern". The Cortes then appointed Ferdinand as Joanna's guardian and the kingdom's administrator and governor. However, her husband Philip the Handsome was unwilling to accept any threat to his chances of ruling Castile and also minted coins in the name of "Philip and Joanna, King and Queen of Castile, Léon and Archdukes of Austria, etc." In response, Ferdinand embarked upon a pro-French policy, marrying Germaine de Foix, niece of Louis XII of France
Louis XII of France
Louis proved to be a popular king. At the end of his reign the crown deficit was no greater than it had been when he succeeded Charles VIII in 1498, despite several expensive military campaigns in Italy. His fiscal reforms of 1504 and 1508 tightened and improved procedures for the collection of taxes...

 (and his own great-niece), in the hope that she would produce a son to inherit Aragon and perhaps Castile.

Ferdinand's remarriage merely strengthened support for Philip and Joanna in Castile, and in late 1505, the pair decided to travel to Castile. Leaving Flanders on 10 January 1506, their ships were wrecked on the English coast and the couple were guests of Henry, Prince of Wales, later Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 and Joanna's sister Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon , also known as Katherine or Katharine, was Queen consort of England as the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and Princess of Wales as the wife to Arthur, Prince of Wales...

 at Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

. They weren't able to leave until 21 April by which time civil war was looming in Castile. Philip apparently considered landing in Andalusia and summoning the nobles to take up arms against Ferdinand in Aragon. Instead, he and Joanna landed at La Coruña on 26 April, whereupon the Castilian nobility abandoned Ferdinand en masse. Ferdinand met Philip at Villafáfila
Villafáfila
Villafáfila is a municipality located in the province of Zamora, Castile and León, Spain. According to the 2004 census , the municipality has a population of 628 inhabitants....

 on 20 June 1506 and handed over the government of Castile to his "most beloved children", promising to retire to Aragon. Philip and Ferdinand then signed a second treaty, agreeing that Joanna's mental instability made her incapable of ruling and promising to exclude her from government. Ferdinand then proceeded to repudiate the agreement the same afternoon, declaring that Joanna should never be deprived of her rights as Queen Proprietress of Castile. A fortnight later, having come to no fresh agreement with Philip and thus effectively retaining his right to interfere if he considered his daughter's rights to have been infringed upon, he abandoned Castile for Aragon, leaving Philip to govern in Joanna's stead.

Philip's death


By virtue of the agreement of Villafáfila, the procurators of the Cortes met in Valladolid, Castile on 9 July 1506. On 12 July, they swore allegiance to Philip I and Joanna together as King and Queen of Castile and León and to their son Charles, later Charles I of Castile, Leon and Aragon and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

, as their heir-apparent. This arrangement only lasted for a few months. On 25 September 1506 Philip died suddenly of typhoid fever
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

 in the city of Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

 in Castile. Some suspected that he had been poisoned by his father-in-law Ferdinand II who had always disliked his foreign Habsburg origins and with whom he never wanted to share power. Joanna was pregnant with their sixth child, a daughter Catherine (1507–1578). By 20 December 1506 she was in the village of Torquemada
Torquemada, Palencia
Torquemada is a municipality in the province of Palencia, Castile and León, Spain. According to the 2010 census , the municipality has a population of 1098 inhabitants.The village is known for its peppers, an important crop for the local economy....

 in Castile, attempting to exercise her rights to rule alone in her own name as Queen of Castile. The country fell into disorder. Her son and heir-apparent, Charles, later Charles I, was a six-year old child being raised in his aunt's care in northern European Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

; her father, Ferdinand II, remained in Aragon, allowing the crisis to grow. A regency council under Archbishop Cisneros was set up against the queen's orders but it was unable to manage the growing public disorder; plague and famine devastated the kingdom with supposedly half the population perishing of one or the other. The queen was unable to secure the funds required to assist her to protect her power. In the face of this, Ferdinand II returned to Castile in July 1507. His arrival coincided with a remission of the plague and famine, a development which quieted the instability and left an impression that his return had restored the health of the kingdom.

Father's regency



Ferdinand II and Joanna met at Hornillos, Castile on 30 July 1507. Ferdinand then constrained her to yield up her power over the Kingdom of Castile and León to himself. On 17 August 1507 she summoned three members of the royal council and ordered them to inform the grandees, in her name, of her father Ferdinand II's return to power: "That they should go to receive his highness and serve him as they would her person and more." She refused to sign the instructions - a last gesture of defiance - and issued a statement that she did not, as queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....

, endorse the surrender of her own royal power. Nonetheless, she was thereafter queen in name only and all documents, though issued in her name, were signed with Ferdinand's signature, "I the King". He was named administrator of the kingdom by the Cortes of Castile in 1510, and entrusted the government mainly to Archbishop Cisneros. He had Joanna confined in the Santa Clara convent in Tordesillas
Tordesillas
Tordesillas is a town and municipality in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León, central Spain.It is located 25 km southwest of the provincial capital, Valladolid at an elevation of 704 meters. The population was c. 9,000 in 2009....

, near Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

 in Castile, in February 1509 after having dismissed all of her faithful servants and having appointed a small retinue accountable to him alone. At this time, some accounts claim that she was insane or 'mad', and that she took her husband's corpse with her to Tordesillas to keep it close to her.

Succession as Queen of Aragon


Ferdinand II ended his days embittered: his second marriage had failed to produce a surviving male heir leaving his daughter Joanna as his heiress-presumptive. Ferdinand resented that, upon his death, Castile and Aragon would effectively pass to his foreign-born-and-raised grandson Charles I, to whom he had transferred his hatred of Philip I. He had hoped that his younger grandson and namesake, Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

, who was Charles I's brother and had been born and raised in Castile, would succeed him. Ferdinand II had named Ferdinand as his heir-apparent in his will before being persuaded to revoke this bequest and rename Joanna and Charles I as his heirs-presumptive instead. When Ferdinand II died in 1516, the Kingdoms of Castile and León, and Aragon and their associated crowns and territories/colonies would pass to Joanna I and Charles I. With Charles I still in Flanders, Aragon was being governed after Ferdinand II's death by his bastard son, Alonso de Aragón
Alonso de Aragón
Alonso de Aragón or Alfonso de Aragón was Archbishop of Zaragoza, Archbishop of Valencia and Lieutenant General of Aragon. Born in Cervera, he was an illegitimate son of Ferdinand II of Aragon by a Catalan noblewoman called Aldonza Ruiz de Ivorra .- Ecclesiastical career :Aragón was more a...

. Meanwhile, Castile and León, already subjects of Joanna, were governed by Archbishop Cisneros as regent. A group of nobles, led by the Duke of Infantado, attempted to proclaim the Infante Ferdinand as King of Castile but the attempt failed.

Son's regency



In October 1517, seventeen-year-old Charles I arrived in Asturias at the Bay of Biscay
Bay of Biscay
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal, and is named in English after the province of Biscay, in the Spanish...

. On 4 November, he and his sister Eleanor met their mother Joanna at Tordesillas – there they secured from her the necessary authorization to allow Charles to rule as her co-King of Castile and León and of Aragon. Despite her acquiescence to his wishes her confinement would continue. The Castilian Cortes, meeting in Valladolid, spited Charles by addressing him only as Su Alteza ("Your Highness") and reserving Majestad ("Majesty") for Joanna. However, no one seriously considered rule by Joanna a realistic proposition.

Since Charles I now ruled the Kingdom of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

 and its territories and the Kingdom of Castile and León and its territories, the two kingdoms were officially unified into one country: Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, in 1519. King Charles I of Spain became, in addition, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V the same year, and was able to create the most powerful country in the world at the time by building on the achievements and colonial wealth of his mother's parents, Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 and Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

, the Catholic Monarchs
Catholic Monarchs
The Catholic Monarchs is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were both from the House of Trastámara and were second cousins, being both descended from John I of Castile; they were given a papal dispensation to deal with...

.

Revolt of the Comuneros


In 1520, the Revolt of the Comuneros broke out in response to the perceived foreign Habsburg influence over Castile through Charles V. The rebel leaders demanded that Castile be governed in accordance with the supposed practices of the Catholic Monarchs. In an attempt to legitimize their rebellion, the Comuneros turned to Joanna. As the 'on record' sovereign monarch, had she given written approval to the rebellion, it would have been legalized and would have triumphed. In an attempt to prevent this, Don Antonio de Rojas, Bishop of Mallorca
Mallorca
Majorca or Mallorca is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the Balearic Islands.The capital of the island, Palma, is also the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The Cabrera Archipelago is administratively grouped with Majorca...

, led a delegation of royal councilors to Tordesillas
Tordesillas
Tordesillas is a town and municipality in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León, central Spain.It is located 25 km southwest of the provincial capital, Valladolid at an elevation of 704 meters. The population was c. 9,000 in 2009....

, asking Joanna to sign a document denouncing the Comuneros. She demurred, requesting that he present her specific provisions. Before this could be done the Comuneros in turn stormed the virtually undefended city and requested her support. The request prompted Adrian of Utrecht
Pope Adrian VI
Pope Adrian VI , born Adriaan Florenszoon Boeyens, served as Pope from 9 January 1522 until his death some 18 months later...

, the regent appointed by Charles V, to declare that Charles would lose Castile if she granted her support. Although she was sympathetic to the Comuneros, she was persuaded by Ochoa de Landa and her confessor Fray John of Avila
John of Avila
Saint John of Ávila, Apostle of Andalusia was a Roman Catholic priest, Spanish preacher, scholastic author, religious mystic and saint...

 that supporting the revolt would irreparably damage the country and her son's kingship and she therefore refused to sign a document granting her support. The Battle of Villalar
Battle of Villalar
The Battle of Villalar was a battle in the Revolt of the Comuneros fought on April 23, 1521 near the town of Villalar in Valladolid province, Spain. The royalist supporters of King Charles I won a crushing victory over the comuneros rebels. Three of the most important rebel leaders were...

 confirmed that Charles would prevail over the revolt.

Forced confinement



Charles ensured his domination and throne by having his mother confined for the rest of her life in the rooms of the Convent of Santa Clara in Tordesillas
Tordesillas
Tordesillas is a town and municipality in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León, central Spain.It is located 25 km southwest of the provincial capital, Valladolid at an elevation of 704 meters. The population was c. 9,000 in 2009....

, Castile. Joanna's condition degenerated further. She apparently became convinced that some of the nuns of the convent wanted to kill her, a fear which was never proved. Reportedly it was difficult for her to eat, sleep, bathe, or change her clothes — common symptoms of what is now called clinical depression. Charles wrote to the Convent of Santa Clara caretakers: "It seems to me that the best and most suitable thing for you to do is to make sure that no person speaks with Her Majesty, for no good could come from it".

Joanna had her youngest daughter, Catherine of Austria, with her during Ferdinand II's time as regent, 1507–1516. Her older daughter, Eleanor of Austria, had created a semblance of a household within the convent rooms. In her final years, Joanna's physical state began to rapidly decline with mobility ever more difficult.

Joanna died on Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

, 12 April 1555 at the age of 75 in the Convent of Santa Clara at Tordesillas. She is entombed in the Royal Chapel of Granada
Royal Chapel of Granada
The Royal Chapel of Granada is a mausoleum located in the city of Granada in Andalusia, southern Spain.-Mausoleum:The mausoleum houses the remains of the Catholic Monarchs :...

 (la Capilla Real
Capilla real
with small text capilla real:* One of the musical Chapel Royals serving the kings of Spainwith capitalized text Capilla Real:* Royal Chapel of Granada, a mausoleum...

) in Spain alongside her parents Isabella I and Ferdinand II, her husband Philip I and her nephew Miguel da Paz, Prince of Asturias. A statue of her stands in Tordesillas and the convent in which she was confined for fifty years can be visited.

Mental health


Most historians now agree that she had either melancholia
Melancholia
Melancholia , also lugubriousness, from the Latin lugere, to mourn; moroseness, from the Latin morosus, self-willed, fastidious habit; wistfulness, from old English wist: intent, or saturnine, , in contemporary usage, is a mood disorder of non-specific depression,...

, severe clinical depression, a psychosis
Psychosis
Psychosis means abnormal condition of the mind, and is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality"...

, or a case of inherited schizophrenia
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

.There is debate about the diagnosis that she was mentally ill
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

 considering that her symptoms were aggravated by non-consensual confinement and control by others who had assumed her royal powers. To legitimize the claims of her husband, father, and son to the throne, Joanna was nominalized as Queen regnant
Queen regnant
A queen regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right, in contrast to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire....

 of Castile, León, and Aragon until her death. It is possible that she inherited mental illness
Mental illness
A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural,...

 from her mother's family: her maternal grandmother Isabella of Portugal, Queen of Castile suffered from it in widowhood after her stepson exiled her to the castle of Arévalo
Arévalo
Arévalo is a municipality in Spain, it is situated in the province of Ávila and is part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. The name came from Celtic word arevalon, meaning "place near the wall."-Regional importance:...

 in Ávila
Ávila (province)
Ávila is a province of central-western Spain, in the southern part of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is bordered on the south by the provinces of Toledo and Cáceres, on the west by Salamanca, on the north by Valladolid, and on the east by Segovia and Madrid. Ávila has a...

, Castile.

Legacy in arts and letters


The story of Queen Joanna attracted authors, composers and artists of the 19th century romanticist movement
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

, with her qualities of unrequited love
Unrequited love
Unrequited love is love that is not openly reciprocated or understood as such, even though reciprocation is usually deeply desired. The beloved may or may not be aware of the admirer's deep affections...

 and moral fidelity
Fidelity
"Fidelity" is the quality of being faithful or loyal. Its original meaning regarded duty to a lord or a king, in a broader sense than the related concept of fealty. Both derive from the Latin word fidēlis, meaning "faithful or loyal"....

. Later authors often focus on the grief-stricken woman and her mental illness. An incomplete list of these works follows:
  • Felipe el Hermoso (1845) — Eusebio Asquerino
    Eusebio Asquerino
    Eusebio Asquerino was a Spanish poet and playwright of the romantic era.His book, Poesías , has a style influenced by José de Espronceda and José Zorilla and some of his work, such as 'A Lincoln' or 'El obrero' reveal progressive leanings.His plays, written in collaboration with his brother...

     and Gregorio Romero. A play in four acts.
  • La Locura de Amor (1855) — Manuel Tamayo y Baus
    Manuel Tamayo y Baus
    Manuel Tamayo y Baus was a Spanish dramatist.He was born at Madrid, into a family connected with the theatre, his mother being the eminent actress Joaquina Baus. It is interesting to note that she appeared as Geneviève de Brabant in an arrangement from the French made by Tamayo when he was in his...

    . Play
  • Doña Juana la Loca (late 19th Cent.) — Emilio Serrano
    Emilio Serrano
    Emilio Serrano y Ruiz was a Spanish pianist and composer.-Life:Serrano spent his early youth in Madrid and received his musical training at the Madrid Conservatory, where he studied piano with Dámaso Zabalza, and harmony and composition with Emilio Arrieta. He himself soon began to teach and he...

    . Opera.
  • Juana la Loca (1877) — Francisco Pradilla. Painting (shown above). Currently in the Prado museum of Madrid
    Madrid
    Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

    , Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    .
  • Locura de amor
    Locura de amor
    Locura de amor is a 1948 Spanish historical drama film directed by Juan de Orduña.The movie is based on the play La Locura de Amor written in 1855 by Manuel Tamayo y Baus around the figure of Queen Joanna of Castile; who attracted authors, composers, and artists of the romanticist movement, due to...

    (1948) — Juan de Orduña
    Juan de Orduña
    Juan de Orduña was a Spanish film director.- Filmography :* Me has hecho perder el juicio * Eusébio, la Pantera Negra * El caserío * El huésped del sevillano...

    . Film.
  • The Prisoner of Tordesillas (1959) — Lawrence Schoonover
    Lawrence Schoonover
    Lawrence Schoonover was an American novelist.Born in Anamosa, Iowa, Schoonover attended the University of Wisconsin, then worked in advertising before becoming a novelist....

    . Novel.
  • La Loca (1979) — Gian Carlo Menotti
    Gian Carlo Menotti
    Gian Carlo Menotti was an Italian-American composer and librettist. Although he often referred to himself as an American composer, he kept his Italian citizenship. He wrote the classic Christmas opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, among about two dozen other operas intended to appeal to popular...

    . Opera.
  • Mariner by the playwright Don Nigro
    Don Nigro
    Don Nigro is an American playwright; his plays Anima Mundi and The Dark Sonnets of the Lady have both been nominated for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation's National Play Award...

    . Play.
  • Las Ruinas del Corazon (1999) — Eric Gamalinda
    Eric Gamalinda
    Eric Gamalinda is an established Filipino American author. He was an editor, journalist, short-story writer, children’s literature author, poet, and novelist. He published three novels...

    . Poem.
  • Juana la Loca
    Juana la Loca (2001 film)
    Mad Love is a 2001period drama film written and directed by Vicente Aranda starring Pilar López de Ayala and Daniele Liotti. The plot follows the tragic fate of Queen Joanna of Castile madly in love to an unfaithful husband, Philip the Handsome, Archduke of Austria.The film received 3 Goya...

    (2001) — directed by Vicente Aranda
    Vicente Aranda
    Vicente Aranda , is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.Due to his refined and personal style, he is one of the most renowned Spanish filmmakers. He started as a founded member of the Barcelona School of Film and became known for bringing contemporary Spanish novels to life on the...

     and starring Pilar López de Ayala
    Pilar López de Ayala
    Pilar López de Ayala Arroyo is a Spanish film actress. She received a Goya for her role as Queen Joanna of Castile in the 2001 film Juana la Loca, directed by Vicente Aranda ....

     as Joanna, was nominated for 12 Goya Awards
    Goya Awards
    The Goya Awards, known in Spanish as los Premios Goya, are Spain's main national film awards, considered by many in Spain, and internationally, to be the Spanish equivalent of the American Academy Awards....

    , and was released in the US as Mad Love. Based on La Locura de Amor by Manuel Tamayo y Baus
    Manuel Tamayo y Baus
    Manuel Tamayo y Baus was a Spanish dramatist.He was born at Madrid, into a family connected with the theatre, his mother being the eminent actress Joaquina Baus. It is interesting to note that she appeared as Geneviève de Brabant in an arrangement from the French made by Tamayo when he was in his...

    .
  • El Pergamino de la Seducción (2005) — Gioconda Belli
    Gioconda Belli
    Gioconda Belli is an author, novelist and renowned Nicaraguan poet.-Early life:Gioconda Belli, of Northern Italian descent, was an active participant in the Sandinista struggle against the Somoza dictatorship, and her work for the movement led to her being forced into exile in Mexico in 1975...

    . Novel in Spanish.
  • The Last Queen (2007) — C.W. Gortner. Novel in English and Spanish

Children


NameBirthDeathNotes
Eleanor 15 November 1498 married firstly in 1518, Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I of Portugal
Manuel I , the Fortunate , 14th king of Portugal and the Algarves was the son of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu, , by his wife, Infanta Beatrice of Portugal...

 and had children; married secondly in 1530, Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 and had no children.
Charles
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

24 February 1500 married in 1526, Isabella of Portugal
Isabella of Portugal
Isabella of Portugal was a Portuguese Princess and Holy Roman Empress, Duchess of Burgundy, and a Queen Regent/Consort of Spain. She was the daughter of Manuel I of Portugal and Maria of Aragon. By her marriage to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Isabella was also Holy Roman Empress and Queen...

 and had children.
Isabella
Isabella of Burgundy
Isabella of Austria , Archduchess of Austria and Infanta of Castile and Aragon, was Queen of Denmark, Sweden and Norway as the wife of King Christian II...

18 July 1501 married in 1515, Christian II of Denmark
Christian II of Denmark
Christian II was King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden , during the Kalmar Union.-Background:...

 and had children.
Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

10 March 1503 married in 1521, Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
Anna of Bohemia and Hungary, also sometimes known as Anna Jagellonica was, by marriage to Ferdinand I, King of the Romans and later Holy Roman Emperor, Queen of the Romans.-Family:She was the elder child and only daughter of king Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary and his third...

 and had children.
Mary 18 September 1505 married in 1522, Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia
Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia
Louis II was King of Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia from 1516 to 1526.- Early life :Louis was the son of Ladislaus II Jagiellon and his third wife, Anne de Foix....

 and had no children.
Catherine 14 January 1507 married in 1525, John III of Portugal
John III of Portugal
John III , nicknamed o Piedoso , was the fifteenth King of Portugal and the Algarves. He was the son of King Manuel I and Maria of Aragon, the third daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile...

 and had children.


All Joanna's children except Mary had children. However, only Charles, Ferdinand, and Isabella have descendants today.

Ancestry





External links



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