Isabella Queen 8

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Isabella of Spain was an extraordinary and unflappable monarch who led Spain into an unprecedented Golden Age. Isabella demonstrated this through her impressive and strategic rise to power; during which time, her legacy speaks of wars being waged on behalf of causes she believed in even when these efforts could potentially be seen negatively later on.

As Henry IV became King of Castile following her father’s death in 1454, Isabella’s half brother Henry IV summoned Isabella and Alfonso from Arevalo to Segovia as part of his court. Isabella spent most of her early life there among a select group of ladies-in-waiting and tutors, who provided an intensive education in rhetoric, painting and history.

Isabella soon had an opportunity to marry Ferdinand of Aragon, whose kingdom provided natural allies. Though some advisers advised she seize power immediately when given this chance, Isabella showed great political acumen by waiting patiently until her time came. Writing Henry an open and polite letter asking his consent for their union he never replied and the wedding ultimately occurred without issue.