Monday, 5 April 2010

Trubble at 'mill...

The trouble is we don't know whether Alfonso VI - the about to be ex-king - had suggested, sanctioned, or commanded the move. However, what was proposed was that Alfonso I of Aragon was marriage material for the unfortunate Urraca, who clearly had no say in the matter. She may not have liked it. We aren't advised one way or the other. She was a 12th century woman, princess or not. 12th century women did as they were told.

Urraca was told to marry or.., and the "union" took place.

The church certainly didn't like it. Urraca and Alfonso of Aragon were distantly related: they shared the same great-grandfather. (Look back at earlier posts if you are really interested but I am assuming you are not, so...)

The whole enterprise was on shaky ground from the first.

In 1109, Alfonso VI, by now the somewhat ineffectual monarch, died.

This left the question as to what role his new son-in-law (had Alfonso VI lived to comment - this is getting complicated...) would play. Was The Battler to be "King Consort" to Urraca's Queen?

Once again we don't know. What does become clear, and very quickly, is that Alfonso of Aragon wasn't likely to play second fiddle to anyone, least of all a "defenseless" woman. The succession was rushed through in the same hurry that the Aragonese marriage had been conceived.

In the end it raised far more problems than it solved.

Queen Urraca wasn't the pushover everyone expected and before long everyone would know it...

...including Bishop Diego Gelmirez in Santiago de Compostela who was having problems of his own.

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