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Tudor Minute October 19: Ferdinand and Isabella Get Married

Hey, this is Heather from the Renaissance English History Podcast, and this is your Tudor Minute for October 19.

1469 – marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella.  After her father, King John II of Castile died, Isabella was pressured by her brother King Henry IV to marry King Alfonso V of Portugal, but she refused, not wanting to take her brother’s advice too much since she knew her nobles didn’t trust him.

She secretly sent out a member of the royal court to look for suitors for her. He brought back news of Ferdinand, the handsome, young prince of Aragon. Isabella gained support for this marriage as it would bring unity between the two kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, perhaps even unifying the whole of Spain one day. They married four days after they met.

Diplomatically, Ferdinand held less power because Aragon was much smaller than Castile. But privately, Isabella assured him that they would make decisions together and developed the motto, “the one as much as the other”. Their marriage was at first political, but they grew to love and trust each other. They would complete the Reconquista of Spain, eventually capturing Granada and the Alhambra in 1492.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at

Episode Link:

Henry VII and his foreign policy