Loss, and a new journey for Philip. (Going Home, Sweet Home). Juana, Part II
JUANA LA LOCA
PART II (Part I, previous blog)
Yes, Philip and Juana meet again but it is not lust at first sight, it is now revenge at first sight.
After a two year separation and without any contact with her husband, Juana decided to return to Flanders and perhaps resume her married life and be a mother to the three children she had left behind two years earlier. Juana’s father, King Fernando, insisted that infant Fernandito be left in Spain to be educated and prepared to eventually assume the kingdom of Castile and Aragon. Sadly Juana acquiesced to the demands of her father and left her son behind.
When she arrived in Flanders and entered her home she found that she was a stranger to the place. All of her personal belongings, clothes, and jewels that she had left behind, had disappeared, they had been taken by Philip’s mistress, a French woman. Philip was literally sleeping with the ‘enemy’!
Disappointed and totally hurt she waited for her husband to come and see her. When he finally came he was drunk, in an accusatory mode, and uncivil. His mind had been poisoned against Spain by France, according to Juana’s thinking. Philip demanded that Juana return to Spain and promised to follow when Queen Isabel died to claim HIS throne. Of course Juana reminded him that it was HER throne. What followed was a vicious rape of Juana by her husband. The rape was to teach her a lesson and to remind her that Castile was HIS. He promised to rape her every night until she formally gave him Castile.
Feeling insulted by her refusals, Philip started to parade his mistress around the court, clad in Juana’s clothes and jewels. Juana might have forgiven his infidelities and rapes, but she would not forgive the humiliation of having his French mistress personally confront her. One day when the wife was taunted by her husband and the mistress, assailed by jealousy,Juana decided to tear off the necklace that the mistress was wearing. Of course the necklace belonged to Juana. Philip's response was to have his guards lock her in her room because she was ‘insane’. The publicly pronounced insane accusations continued to pile up.
Queen Isabel of Castile
Two weeks after the necklace incident, word came that Queen Isabel of Castile had died. Juana now was the ruler of Castile. A letter from her father made it clear that it was imperative that she return to Spain so she could be invested with the crown. In the meantime Philip’s emissaries had traveled to Spain to inform King Fernando about his daughter’s madness and therefore she would be unable to rule, Charles should be declared king! Charles was Juana and Philip’s young son. (Because Charles was just a child the real ruler would be Philip) Of course the only way that anyone could take away Juana’s right to the throne was for Juana to abdicate. What was Juana’s response? Never while I live!
Juana knew that her husband hungered for her crown, for power. Nothing mattered to him, not if it got in the way of his ambitions. Yes, Philip was the mad one, mad with power and his overwhelming self-importance.
Juana and her sons.
Juana needed to return to Spain but Philip saw to it that she became pregnant once again, it was a means to control her. While waiting for the birth of her fifth child, she decided to send her children to Naples where Philip’s sister resided, Margaret would be a good mother to the children. The fifth child, Mary, was born in September of 1505 and she too was sent to Naples to be with the rest of her siblings.
With the birth of the child, it was time to return to Spain. She would finally go home. Yes, home at last.
GOING HOME AT LAST, BUT WHAT WAS WAITING FOR HER?
..........JUANA'S LOSS, AND A NEW JOURNEY FOR PHILIP.......
They embarked for Spain just as winter was beginning. As expected the storms hit and the galleon they were on started to keel and to break apart. Several of the ships traveling with the Queen and her husband, were lost at sea, the decision was made to sail to the nearest port which was in England. Juana actually looked forward to going to England as it would give her a chance to see her younger sister Catherine, widow of Prince Arthur (brother of her future husband Henry).
Once Juana met her sister, to her dismay she discovered that her husband Philip had been up to his usual perfidious machinations, and had been dealing with the rulers of England to forge a deal against Juana and to bolster Philip’s chances to be the King of Castile. Philip also had been intercepting and destroying letters from Catherine and Queen Isabel sent to Juana.
Juana did not let on that she knew of his treachery and when back at sea, one night he came to her cabin, she allowed to him to deliberately impregnate her once more. He wanted her to be pregnant to better control her once they arrived in Spain, she did not protest as she did not want to enter Spain all battered.
Finally they arrived in Spain to a glorious reception of the new Queen. As the retinue set out for Castile, Juana discovered that her husband had brought a huge army of mercenaries (even larger than the one Fernando and Isabel had used in the battles against the Moors), quite an intimidating show of intent. Intimidated but determined, Juana had one constant thought, that she would soon be reunited with her father in Castile. He would defend her!
Once they arrived in Castile Juana was placed in one house while Philip stayed at another. After several days he came to Juana’s room with a document that he and a co-conspirator had written. In essence the document stated that Juana had no interest in participating in the running of the kingdom because of her ‘malady’. Therefore to avert an upheaval of the nation, Juana and Philip were asking King Fernando to renounce his regency and leave Castile at once. Philip would assume ‘his’ throne. The document was signed by “His Highness Philip, archduke of Flanders and king of Castile”, June 27, 1506. Of course Philip would need Juana and King Fernando’s signature, but he stated that his father in law ‘knew better than to defy him”.
Juana decided that she needed to escape from Philip and reach her father to warn him. She actually did escape and rode all night and the next day. When she felt out of danger, she took refuge in a hut where an old lady lived. The woman recognized Juana and gave whatever assistance she could manage to give. Juana was planning to continue her travels the next day.
The next day, just as she was leaving the hut, her husband’s men and Philip himself appeared and confronted Juana with the news that they had killed the old lady and were ready to kill her unless she returned with them. He also announced that her father was not in Segovia where she thought he was but that he had gone to Naples. It was later discovered that Philip had indeed forced the King to leave Spain.
They continued their travels and when they entered the town of Valladolid, Juana was veiled and dressed in black, as if mourning. For the next six days Juana was shut in a chamber of a palace with the windows boarded up. She was denied the services of her attending women. Each day Philip entered her room demanding that she sign the document making him King of Castile. Each day she refused. In the meantime the ‘news’ was being spread that Juana was indeed mad and could not rule. In her heart Juana knew that her refusal would mean a cruel fate, the same fate that befell her grandmother who was locked away by her own son the King Fernando. Yes, Fernando had ‘imprisoned’ his own mother because she was ‘mad’ and therefore he became the ruling King! But Juana was not mad! And no matter what the consequences might be, she was not going to give in and sign the papers.
In the meantime Philip had turned the Spanish Lords against Juana. The Lords had the power to decide who the ruler for Castile would be. He avowed that Juana did not want the throne. On the day that the question was put to Juana if she wanted to be Queen, she replied YES! Because of Philip’s lies, the Lords had expected a negative response but were glad of her decision. Philip swore that he ‘would not have his rights stolen away by a madwoman’.
Whatever plans Philip might have had to usurp the throne, they never came to fruition. Suddenly Philip fell gravely ill! Dutifully Juana rushed to her husband and did not leave his side. She tended to him and stayed with him until his death, she did not allow him to die alone like a beast.
At the time of Philip's death, Juana was pregnant with their sixth child. She would have preferred to stay put until the birth of the child but it was imperative that she go to Toledo. The Lords were already plotting on how to make Fernandito king as they preferred the son who had been born in Spain and not the older brother Carlos, who had been born in Flanders. Obviously they did not want to be ruled by Juana either as she was a woman.
-Pregnant Juana, dressed in black, accompanying Philip's catafalque to his resting place.-
Juana sent for her children to be brought to Spain, and made plans to proceed to Toledo where she would bury her husband. Yes, she would accompany the archduke’s catafalque because it was her duty.
As they rode toward Toledo, the pains came and Juana was ready to give birth to her child. She was brought to a stranger’s house where she waited two days for the birth. It was a daughter and gave her the name of Catalina (Catalina was the real name of Catherine of Aragon, Henry the VIII’s first wife). Eventually, with the baby in her arms, she continued her journey to Toledo.
While traveling to her destination, she received a letter from her father who told her not to go to Valencia where he was, but to travel to Tortoles where he would join her. He also told her that the reason that he had gone to Naples was because of the threats by Philip to harm his kingdom and his life. Jubilant, Juana did as asked.
At last, Juana would have her father’s protection and support.
BUT, WOULD SHE?
To be continued
Updated: 10:04 PM GMT en Febrero 03, 2012
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Happy B'day MASS! A Reversal of Fortunes. ( Lust and Love Royal Style.)
JUANA LA LOCA, Queen of Spain
Historical women of note have always fascinated me especially the ones from centuries past when most women were basically non-entities. Men ruled the world, and men were the inventors, travelers, writers, etc. Still now and then a few women equaled or out-shined the men in fields other than the role of motherhood. In past blogs I have featured a few of these exceptional women such as the first female doctor whose name was Trotula; the intrepid Norman Queen Adelasia del Vasto; the warrior Boudica, queen of the British Iceni tribe.
I recently read a historical fiction titled “The Last Queen” by C.W. Gortner. The protagonist is Juana, queen of Castilla, daughter of the Catholic Kings Fernando and Isabel, and wife of Philip the Handsome. She is also known as Juana la Loca, The Mad Joanna. Juana is the next featured historical woman in my series.
Juana I de Castilla was born November 6, 1479 in Toledo, Spain. She was given a stellar education for a female of those times. She learned religion, the art of civility, how to be well-mannered, the arts such as music and dance, how to be a proper ‘lady’ rider, languages such as French and Latin as well as other romance languages spoken in various areas of the Iberian Peninsula.
Juana was totally dominated by her parents. All of the people who served Juana were meticulously chosen by the parents, while at the same time her brother Juan and future King, ruled his home and territorial possessions from a very young age.
Royal children of those times were just pawns to be used by the parents to solidify political and strategic alliances. Juana was no exception.
Fernando and Isabel desired an alliance with the German Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg, and betrothed Juana to his son Philip, known as Philip the Handsome. At the same time the future king of Spain Juan was betrothed to Maximilian’s daughter Margarita of Austria. The alliance would strengthen the mutual fight against the French who were threatening both Spain and the Germanic rulers. Juana was only 16 years old.
Juana had no choice but to leave Spain and travel to Flanders (today Belgium) home of her future husband. Once in Flanders she would be married to Philip. She left with 19 galleons, many caravels, her extensive possessions in jewels, and 3,500 men. Unfortunately one of the ships that carried 700 men and her possessions sunk leaving her with only the clothes she was wearing.
Many weeks later Juana finally reached Flanders. To her dismay her husband to be did not meet her, he was away hunting. Eventually Philip returned from his hunting trip and went to meet his future bride. It was lust at first sight! She was a real beauty and Philip did not miss this fact. She thought that he too was a grand specimen of manhood. He had golden hair that fell to his shoulders, prominent jaw, aquiline nose, blue eyes, and unblemished skin. Philip was not much older than Juana and both were ruled by their hormones.
The urge to mate was strong for both of them but royal couples had to follow the traditional rules. To circumvent the rules Philip decided that they would be married immediately and his adviser Archbishop Besancon obliged with a marriage on the spot! The formal one would follow as prescribed. The ‘marriage’ allowed the young couple to indulge in the conjugal rights. Yes, it was against traditional rules but legal.
Juana had resigned herself to the fate of most royal marriages, tolerate him at best and disdain him at worst. She had anticipated a marriage without passion, just an alliance of state for the good of Spain, and of course, to provide a passel of children to be bartered in a few years. Yet she found instant lust and love!
Would the lusty young love last?
The idyllic period was short lived. She soon found out that even though she was enamored of her husband and would always be faithful to him, he had no intention of being faithful to her. It was not a matter of being a bad husband but it was what men did in the 16th century, especially royal men. Most women of the time understood and accepted the situation but not Juana.
She felt betrayed, humiliated, and very angry. Her jealousy was intense and it became increasingly problematic for all concerned. She began to confront Philip’s lovers, verbally and physically. Apparently she even grabbed the hair of one of the 'ladies' and proceeded to cut it off! This was a grave mistake on her part as she gave Philip and other powerful men the means on which to base their calculated accusations that she was insane. At the same time Juana began to display her willingness to suffer for what she believed was the correct path for herself and her beloved Spain.
Philip’s lack of faithfulness was not the only sad discovery that she made, she also became aware that there were powerful people around her who would manipulate her and her loyal personal assistants. Archbishop Besancon as adviser to the malleable Philip, was a mastermind of scheming, intrigue, and deception. She knew that she needed to be on her guard when dealing with this man, and the seed of future retaliation was sown in her young heart.
Despite the suspicions, the unfaithfulness, the manipulations, Philip and Juana continued their sexual encounters which resulted in six pregnancies. The first of the six children was Leonor, the future wife of the king of Portugal and upon his death wife of Francis I of France. The second child Carlos was born in the palace public bathroom! Her jealousy grew to such a degree that Juana decided to attend a palace ball in order to keep a close watch on her husband. She was in a very advanced stage of her pregnancy. While dancing, her waters broke and was about to give birth in front of hundreds of people. She fled the room and took refuge in the first unlocked room that she found, the bathroom. Yes, Carlos the future King of Spain and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, was born on a bathroom floor!
What is there in the future of the ambitious and rapacious Philip and the headstrong, betrayed, and heartbroken Juana?
UNEXPECTED LIFE-CHANGING EVENTS
The years 1497, 1498, and 1550 catapulted Juana into a totally unexpected role, and the beginning of a disastrous downfall into desperation. At the same time it was the beginning of Juana’s steadfast stand to preserve her rightful inheritance, as well as that of her children.
Within a span of a few years all of the possible heirs to the unified thrones of Castilla and Aragon died. First Juana’s brother John and heir apparent died in 1497. The succession passed to Juana’s sister Isabella, Queen of Portugal, but in 1498 she died while giving birth to a son, the Infante Miguel. Miguel then would be the inheritor of Castile, Aragon, as well as Portugal but he too died in the summer of 1500. The succession of Castilla and Aragon now fell to Juana who, upon the death of her mother, would become the rightful inheritor of the unified thrones.
The moment that it became clear that Juana would be the future queen of Spain, Philip began to think of himself as the rightful inheritor of Castile. The scheming and political intrigues began even though Juana discovered that she was pregnant with their third child. Isabel was born in 1501.
Soon after the birth it became necessary to travel to Spain so that Juana and Philip could receive fealty from the Cortes of Castilla, and in November of 1501 they began the trip to Spain. Philip insisted that the children remain behind, including the 6 months old Isabel.
At Philips insistence and against her wishes, they traveled through France on their way to Spain. Ostensibly to pay their respect to Louis XII, the enemy of Spain and Flanders!
When the travelers arrived in Val du Loire where the French King was to receive them, Juana was forced to go to a certain room of the castle while the husband and Besancon were ushered to the King’s room. By all rights it should have been the Queen to deal with the King, Juana became suspicious. She got away from her ‘captors’ and went to the King’s room where she found the three of them negotiating deals!
Juana realized that her husband was conspiring against her wishes, and became very angry. So angry that when she was asked by her husband to greet His Majesty in a manner required by a ‘woman’, Juana refused. She was as much royalty as the King and she was not going to act as a mere female. Yes, she caused quite a stir at the French Court.
After a few days of cat and mouse games, Juana discovered the real reason for the meetings between the three men. It was to betroth her infant son Charles to the French King’s sickly infant daughter Claude. Incredibly, Juana’s son was betrothed to an enemy of Spain! Immediately Juana packed and left for Spain, Philip had no choice but to follow.
After an arduous trek over the Pyrenees, in the middle of winter, they arrived in Spain. A few days later they were in Castilla where King Fernando, Juana’s beloved father, welcomed them.
Soon after their arrival in Spain, Philip made certain demands of the King and Queen but he was turned down. Philip no longer wanted to be invested as the prince consort of Spain but demanded that the Royals amend their law of succession so that when Juana’s parents died he would succeed as king of Castile and Aragon! Philip would have Juana’s throne.
Toledo by El Greco
As luck would have it, that summer the water sickness spread through Toledo where they were staying. Besancon apparently got the sickness and died. Philip accused Juana’s parents of having murdered his beloved adviser and vowed that he would have his revenge. Juana was pregnant with their fourth child. Philip abandoned the pregnant Juana in Spain and went back to France and then to Flanders.
Juana did not hear from her husband for two years. Their son Ferdinand was born in 1503 but Philip had no interest in meeting his son.Juana felt that for Philip she no longer existed.
Will Juana and Philip ever meet again?
To be continued……..
(Water sickness could have been the plague. It certainly was an epidemic of some disease that killed.)
Updated: 2:06 PM GMT en Enero 24, 2012
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The No Topic Blog!
This is THE NO TOPIC BLOG!
I have an idea for a new blog but it will be a while before I can do the research and write the new blog. In the meantime I will call the actual blog ‘The No Topic Blog’ and post whatever comes to mind on any given day.
I am starting by posting one of my favorite poems by Pablo Neruda, it is one of the verses in his book titled “The Captain’s Verses”. Neruda wrote the ‘Verses’ for his lover, muse, and eventually wife Matilde Urrutia. It was his third wife and they were married from 1966 to 1973, the year of his death.
If You Forget Me
by Pablo Neruda
I want you to know
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine
Please post anything of interest to you, or just say hello, or write about what is on your mind,…… (As always the post is to be in good taste and not offend anyone. Thank you.)
Updated: 2:06 PM GMT en Enero 10, 2012
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