royal marriages

Princess, wife, prisoner and would-be hostage

Renaissance princesses usually had one purpose in life: to wed as arranged by their male family members and, preferably, present their husbands with an heir or two. It didn’t really matter how powerful or rich your dynasty was—a woman was an asset to create new alliances, full stop. Naturally, little princesses were fully aware of […]

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Of inbreeding, royal marriages and their ultimate consequence

In 1496, Princess Juana of Castilla, daughter of their most Catholic majesties Fernando and Isabel, married Philip the Beautiful, son of Maximilan I, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, scion of the Hapsburg dynasty. At the time of her marriage, Juana was not expected to inherit the combined kingdoms of Aragón and Castilla. She had

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