: or Isabel, my first proper introduction to
: European royalty was reading about Catherine
: of Aragon and her extraordinary mother in
: Antonia Fraser's Six Wives of Henry VIII.
: She conjured up an image of the glory of the
: Spanish monarchy which has stuck with me, I
: am so glad that the current King is
: readopting some of the glamour and old
Did you ever read any of Jean Plaidy's popular historical novels? She was a popular writer, as opposed to a learned academic like Fraser, but she was usually very accurate with the facts and very readable if maybe a bit soapish for today's tastes. She did an excellent series of novels on the Spain of Isabel and Ferdinand that left a lasting impression on me. Also Townsend Miller's "The Castles and the Crown" is an excellent counterweight to the usual depictions of Isabel's supposedly mad daughter, Juana portraying her as far more tragic victim than simply a deranged lunatic.
: I'm looking forward to the Spanish State
: Visit and I am going to try my best to try
: and see the King and Queen with Queen
: Elizabeth II, I am assuming there will be a
: carriage ride down The Mall.
: This may be a terribly dumb question but am
: I correct in thinking that the King of Spain
: is one one of Isabella's descendants? I know
: the male line of Isabella's descendants died
: out but I presume it still exists in the
: female line?
The later Habsburg and Bourbon monarchs (which includes the present royal family) can all trace their ancestry back to Isabel via her two daughters: Juana, Queen of Castile and Maria, Queen of Portugal.
: Time permitting it would be fantastic if the
: King or Queen could visit the grave of
: Catherine of Aragon, who remains along with
: her main rival, the two most famous Queens
: of England, although Catherine's memory is
: much more popularly regarded.
I assume you mean queen-consorts of England, of course. I would probably add Eleanor of Aquitaine into that mix. Of course, in her time, an earlier Spanish queen-consort, Eleanor of Castile was even more famous and was honoured with 12 elaborate, stone crosses to mark her burial route erected on the orders of her grieving husband. Three still survive intact to this day.
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