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The Children of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain

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Ferdinand and Isabella

Ferdinand and Isabella

When Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille married they formed what would become known as Spain.   Ruling together this ‘power couple’ turned Spain into a Superpower.   They were both politically savvy enough to know that they needed to make alliances with other countries in order to keep the political stability they had established in Spain.


Ferdinand and Isabella’s foresight would see their descendants on many thrones and in many positions of power.   Together Ferdinand and Isabella had five children, only one of whom was a son.   Isabella was a strong woman and didn’t see having daughters as a bad thing (unlike some of her contemporaries at the time) instead she taught them and then sent them into arranged marriages.


Ferdinand and Isabella’s five children were Isabella, Juana, Juan, Maria and Catherine.





Isabella was Ferdinand and Isabella’s first born and lived from 2nd October 1470 until 28th August 1498.   Isabella married Afonso, Crown Prince of Portugal in 1490, but unfortunately he died the following year.


Her parents persuaded her to re-marry in 1497, the groom was her late husband’s uncle who was now Manuel I of Portugal.   The following year Isabella died during childbirth.   Her son Miguel da Paz did not survive childhood and so Isabella’s line of descendants ended.





Juan or John was Ferdinand and Isabella’s second child and their only son.   He was born on 28th June 1478 and died on 4th October 1497.   Juan was married to Margaret of Austria in 1497, but died before the birth of their first child who was stillborn.   Juan’s line of descendants had died out with him.



Ferdinand and Isabella’s third child was named Juana although she’s often referred to as Joanna.   Juana was born on 6th November 1479 and died on 12th April 1555.


In 1496 Juana was sent away to marry Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy and son of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I.   Juana would have six children with Philip, including two sons that would both become Holy Roman Emperors.


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Through Juana’s children ties between Spain and Portugal would be further strengthened.   The family would also be tied to Denmark, Bohemia and Hungary.


Juana and Philip’s children were – Eleanor, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Isabella, Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, Mary, Catherine.


You can order Joanna the Mad’s picture from

  • Queen Juana of Castille Part One
    When Juana was born to Isabella of Castille and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon nobody expected that she would succeed her mother as Queen. Juana was born on November 6th 1479 and was the third child of...
  • Queen Juana of Castille Part Two
    Isabella of Castille died in November 1504 and Juana was proclaimed Queen of Castille and this is when Juana started to become known as Juana the Mad. Was Juana really insane or was it just political...
  • Juana the Mad's Children
    Juana was the third child of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain and, as with her siblings, a politically good marriage was made for her to Philip the Handsome who was the son of the Holy Roman Emperor...



Ferdinand and Isabella’s fourth child was Maria who was born on 29th June 1482 and died on 7th March 1517.   After the death of her eldest sister Isabella Maria was married to her former brother in law Manuel I of Portugal.  


Maria and Manuel had nine children, of whom eight survived childhood and they can count Kings and Cardinals among their descendants.


Their children were – John III, Infanta Isabella, Infanta Beatrice, Louis, Duke of Beja, Ferdinand, Duke of Guarda, Infante Afonso, Infante Henry, Edward, Duke of Guimaraes.


  • Maria of Aragon's Children
    Maria was the third daughter of the Catholic Monarchs Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon. Her sisters included Juana the Mad and Catherine of Aragon. Marias eldest sister Isabella was...


Ferdinand and Isabella’s fifth child was Catherine who was born on 16th December 1485 and died on 7 January 1536. Catherine was married to Arthur, Prince of Wales in 1501, but they both became ill not long after. Catherine survived, but Arthur died in 1502 leaving Catherine a widow.

It was then decided that Catherine would marry Arthur’s younger brother Henry and in 1509 they married and were both crowned King and Queen of England. Catherine had six pregnancies, but the children would be stillborns or would die after a few days all except one – Mary.

Mary would become Queen Mary I of England but would be unable to have any children and so Catherine’s line of descendants would end with her daughter.

You can purchase the picture of Catherine of Aragon at

  • Mary I
    Queen Mary I was the eldest daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. This meant she was the granddaughter of Henry VII, Elizabeth of York, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of...

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Mario Paezi on February 26, 2018:

Fantastic and fascinating reading. Thank you very much.

shan on October 05, 2016:

Great read. I love history, especially the scandalous secrets of the royal families. Thank you!

jeremytorres on October 15, 2011:

Very interesting hub.

abida on July 13, 2011:

It is very interesting subject.I enjoyed reading some series of kings and queens from history.I got information about ups and downs of royal families.It is useful also.

lou16 (author) on February 27, 2011:

Glad you found it useful - good luck with your school project.

alicensmythe on February 27, 2011:

This was just what I was looking for for a school research project; all of the usable information I need in one easy to comprehend source.

Charles Fox from United Kingdom on May 03, 2010:

I enjoyed reading the full series of the Posh and Beck's of the 16th Century - so much so that I have decided to add an RSS feed into my offerings on Elizabethan Age History. I hope you see an increase in readership on your History musings - you deserve it.

Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on March 01, 2010:

Very interesting subject ~ to me, anyway! :)

I have mentioned this family in my hubs on visions in Medieval Spain.

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