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the Aragonese territories in the Mediterranean.the Balearic Islands

Peter IV, King of Aragon, known as ‘The Ceremonious’ (1319 – 1387) significantly expanded the Aragonese territories in the Mediterranean. He wrested the Kingdom of Majorca, which comprised the Balearic Islands, from his brother-in-law James; conquered the trans-Pyrrenean provinces of Roussillon and Cerdagne from France, and captured Sicily in 1377. The theme of Aragonese expansion in the Mediterranean was one which would continue through Katherine’s early life, and would have a significant effect on her views, particularly her lifelong antipathy towards France.

Pictured left – Heraldic device of Peter IV at the Monastery of Poblet, Catalonia, where many of Katherine’s ancestors are buried.

Peter’s wife Eleanor of Sicily, Katherine’s great-great-great grandmother, was also an accomplished politician, very much in the tradition of Aragonese queens.. ‘She was a forceful presence in the court, becoming the King’s chief adviser after the fall of his minister Bernat de Cabrera, whom she had pitilessly opposed’ (Bisson).
John I of Castile, (right) succeeded to the throne in 1379. He had married Eleanor, daughter of King Peter ‘the Ceremonious’ of Aragon, in 1375, and two of their 

sons were Katherine’s great-grandfathers. After her death, he married Princess Beatrice of Portugal. After her father’s death, he attempted to establish her claim to the Portuguese throne, but was defeated at the Battle of Aljubarrotta in 1385, thus ensuring that Portugal remained an independent country, at least for the next two hundred years.

Pictured right – John I of Castile, from his tomb in Toledo Cathedral

King John was more successful in his struggle with John of Gaunt, who attempted to claim the throne of Castile by right of his wife Constance, the legitimate daughter of Peter ‘the Cruel’. The English Duke journeyed to Castile with his wife and their daughter Catherine in 1386 and established himself in Galicia, but was forced to withdraw to Portugal after a failed attempt to invade Leon in the following year. Eventually, a deal was reached whereby Catherine married the King’s eldest son Henry, thus giving the Trastamara line greater legitimacy. John was killed in a riding accident at Katherine’s birthplace of Alcala de Henares in 1390.
Sancho of Castile, Count of Albuquerque and Haro 
(1342 – 1375)
son of Alfonso XI of Castile.

Father of Eleanor of Albuquerque

Princess Beatrice of Portugal
(1347 – 1381)

Mother of Eleanor of Albuquerque
Alonzo Enriquez, Admiral of Castile 
(? – 1429) 
Juana González

Parents of Frederick Enriquez
Diego Fernandez de Cordova
Senor de Banna Marshal of Castile
(d. 1435) 
Inez de Toledo

Parents of Mariana de Cordova
Alfonso of Braganza 
(1370 – 1461)

Father of Isabella of Braganza
Beatrice Pereira 
(d. 1420)

Mother of Isabella of Braganza