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a dynasty of kings in the Iberian Peninsula,

The House of Trastámara was a dynasty of kings in the Iberian Peninsula, which governed in Castile from 1369 to 1504, in Aragón and Sicily from 1412 to 1516, in Navarre from 1425 to 1479, and in Naples from 1442 to 1501. The house took the name of the Count (or Duke) of Trastámara (Trans Tameris, north of Tambre river in Galicia), a title used by Henry II of Castile (Enrique de Trastámara), El de las Mercedes, before he became king in 1369; that is, during the civil war in which he sought to overthrow his legitimate brother, King Peter of Castile. He was raised and educated by the Count Rodrigo Álvarez. Through the Compromise of Caspe (1412), Ferdinand de Antequera, the second son of John I of Castile, was elected by the nobles of Aragón, Barcelona, and Valencia as king. This was the first cadet branch of the dynasty. In 1425, John, the second son of the Ferdinand de Antequera, married the Navarrese queen and became Navarre’s king. He reigned until his death in 1479, when his daughter Eleanor succeeded him briefly for a year. In 1442, Alfonso V of Aragon succeeded to the Neapolitan throne by conquest. He ruled it until his death in 1458, when his illegitimate son inherited it and began a new branch of the dynasty. The reigns of the Trastamaran kings were characterised by a reinforcement of monarchical authority, economic development, and the expansion of the bourgeoisie. The House of Trastámara died out in 1555, with the death of Queen Joanna of Castile, sister of Katherine of Aragon. As most people know, Katherine was the only one of Henry’s wives to have been born a Princess, the daughter of not one but two reigning monarchs, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. On the Spanish side of her family, it is said that Katherine could trace her ancestors back to the Visigothic kings of Spain, who first settled in the country in 410. The last of these, King Roderick was defeated and killed by Moorish invaders at the Battle of Guadalete in 711. Thereafter, the Christian kingdoms of Spain gradually pushed back the Moorish boundaries until the reconquest was finally completed by the surrender of Granada in 1492, an event which Katherine witnessed. Unsurprisingly, Katherine’s forebears included many heroic warrior kings and many accomplished and powerful queens. Below are some of the best known: Alfonso ‘the Battler’, King of Aragon was born in Alfonso ‘the Battler’1073, the younger son of King Sancho Ramirez of Aragon. He participated in the recapture of Huesca from the Moors in 1096 and inherited the throne in 1104. As his nickname suggests, Alfonso spent most of his life at war with the Moors, and fought twenty nine battles against Moorish and Christian opponents. His greatest triumph was the recapture of Zaragoza from the Moors in 1118. Alfonso made the city his capital and it remains the capital of Aragon to this day. He went on to capture other major towns: Cervera, Castallon and Tarazona in 1119, Lerida in 1123 and Monzon in 1129. However, Alfonso was less successful in his matrimonial affairs. He married Urraca of Castile in 1109, but the two quarreled over the government of Castile, which Urraca was determined to keep to herself. Alfonso’s habit of sleeping in his armour is unlikely to have improved his conjugal relationship! The Pope declared the marriage of Alfonso and Urraca null and void in 1110 but the stormy marriage limped on until 1114, when the couple finally separated