January 1492. The Conquest of Granada.
No woman had ruled the joint kingdoms of Castile and Leon in more than two hundred years.
Isabella had married the young Prince of Aragon when she was a teenager –an initiative that was a great scandal at the time. Princesses did as they were told. Women, even learned ones –she was told by her siblings– did as they were told. But she was not like other women. “Ordinary” “simple–minded” they called her. Nobody thought she’d ever amount to something. The conversos in her brother’s court would eye her with interest, while the moriscos would shake their heads in dismay at her antics. “Who does she think she is?”
I will tell you who I am; I am Infanta Isabella Trastamara and one day I will succeed my brother and wear the crown of Aloes. But such a thing would be beneath her. She was after all a royal, half–divine. Or so she wanted the people to think. While God had chosen her to rule over her brother’s dominions, the decision to take the crown and not wait for the Cortes to decide who was the rightful monarch, was her own. God gave her the tools and she acted on them. She wasn’t like most girls who sat and prayed, hoping against all hope that their salvation would be delivered to them. She acted on her will, and unlike most royals of the age, including Princes, she didn’t count on anyone to rescue her.
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