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The Children of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain

Updated on November 11, 2014
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.


Juana of Castile
Juana of Castile | Source


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.


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



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.


Catherine of Aragon
Catherine of Aragon | Source


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

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      Mario Paezi 8 weeks ago

      Fantastic and fascinating reading. Thank you very much.

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      shan 18 months ago

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

    • jeremytorres profile image

      jeremytorres 6 years ago

      Very interesting hub.

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      abida 6 years ago

      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 profile image

      lou16 7 years ago

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

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      alicensmythe 7 years ago

      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.

    • humagaia profile image

      Charles Fox 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      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.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 8 years ago from The English Midlands

      Very interesting subject ~ to me, anyway! :)

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