was from 1369 the Queen consort
A queen consort is the wife of a reigning king. A queen consort usually shares her husband's rank and holds the feminine equivalent of the king's monarchical titles. Historically, queens consort do not share the king regnant's political and military powers. Most queens in history were queens consort...
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 also was the heiress of Escalona, Villena, Peñafiel and Lara as well as the sovereign lady ("señora soberana") of Biscay
Biscay is a province of Spain and a historical territory of the Basque Country, heir of the ancient Lord of Biscay. Its capital city is Bilbao...
(part of the Basque country
The Basque Country is the name given to the home of the Basque people in the western Pyrenees that spans the border between France and Spain on the Atlantic coast....
She was the daughter of the Infante Juan Manuel of Castile (1282–1349) and his second wife Blanca Núñez de Lara de La Cerda. Her mother Blanca (d. 1347) was a descendant of the sovereign Lords of Biscay and of Lara and of Alfonso X's eldest son (Fernando de la Cerda). She was the last legitimate member of the Castilian House of Burgundy
The Anscarids or Anscarii or the House of Ivrea were a medieval Frankish dynasty of Burgundian origin which rose to prominence in Italy in the tenth century, even briefly holding the Italian throne. They also ruled the County of Burgundy in the eleventh and twelfth centuries and it was one of their...
Her elder half-sister Constance of Peñafiel
Constance of Peñafiel or Constance Manuel of Castile was the daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena , called "el escritor" , Duke of Peñafiel, and his second wife Constance of Aragon, a daughter of James II of Aragon...
(who died in 1345 when Juana was just about five years old) was crown princess of Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...
Her father had been for five years a serious enemy of King Alfonso XI, his former protégé, and the king wished to neutralize or absorb the might of the Peñafiel family. Although Juana was not the heiress (yet), already in her youth she had to go along with royal wishes. The king's very influential concubine, Leonor de Guzmán
Eleanor of Guzman or Leonor Núñez de Guzmán was a Castilian noblewoman and long-term mistress to Alfonso XI of Castile. She was the mother of King Henry II of Castile.- Life :...
, wanted to obtain some high prestige and property to her eldest son and had her eyes on the young Juana. On 27 July 1350 her brother and guardian, Fernando Manuel of Peñafiel, had to marry his young sister to Henry (1333–79), eldest of the illegitimate sons of Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI was the king of Castile, León and Galicia.He was the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313...
. This brought Henry certain lands.
However it was later that Juana's relatives' heirless deaths made Juana the great heiress she turned out to be: so important an heiress that actually her husband gained the opportunity to be a threat to the royal power. She had more rights to the throne of Castile than her husband because she was a legitimate descendant of Ferdinand III of Castile
Saint Ferdinand III, T.O.S.F., was the King of Castile from 1217 and León from 1230. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. He finished the work done by his maternal grandfather Alfonso VIII and consolidated the...
In 1369, Henry became King Henry II of Castile
, after he deposed (and murdered) his half-brother to take the throne.
They had the following children:
- King John I of Castile
John I was the king of Crown of Castile, was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile, daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile...
Eleanor of Castile was an infanta of Castile and the Queen consort of Navarre.She was the daughter of King Henry II of Castile and his wife, Juana Manuel of Castile, from a cadet branch of the Castilian royal house...
In 1361 (at the death of her teenage niece Blanca, daughter of her half-brother Fernando Manuel who himself had died in c 1350 without other children) she inherited Villena, Escalona and Peñafiel. Because Juana was a maternal granddaughter of La Palomilla, from her another cousin, Isabel de Lara who was murdered in 1361 and her young daughter Florentina (d after 1365), she also inherited Lara
Lara de los Infantes is a location with 26 inhabitants in the province of Burgos in the autonomous region of Castille y León in Spain.It is the headquarters of the municipio of Jurisdicción de Lara, which includes a few more inhabitants as it includes other localities like Paúles de Lara , and La...
and Biscay. In 1369, she became queen of Castile and Leon.
When in 1381 she died and left her inheritance to her son, Biscay finally was united with Castile, and ultimately Spain. The Basque people remember her for that.