Elvira Alfónsez, infanta de Castilla y León

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About Elvira Alfónsez, infanta de Castilla y León


Elvira of Castile (c. 1100 – 8 February 1135) was a daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile by his fourth queen, Isabel (perhaps identical to the Moslem convert Zaida, baptized as Isabel, who had been Alfonso's mistress). Note: Academic opinion is that Isabel was not the same person as Zaida.

Elvira married Roger II of Sicily in 1117, but only infrequently saw him thereafter, for he was much preoccupied with rebellions on the Italian Peninsula and she stayed with her children in Palermo the capital. Despite this, the marriage was undoubtedly happy, for she bore Roger five sons before she died in 1135. Her death put Roger in such a deep depression that he was thought dead, he was so reclusive.

Their sons were:

  1. Roger (died 12 May 1148), heir, Duke of Apulia (from 1135), possibly also Count of Lecce.
  2. Tancred (died 1138), Prince of Bari (from 1135).
  3. Alfonso (died 1144), Prince of Capua (from 1135) and Duke of Naples.
  4. William (died 7 May 1166), his successor, Duke of Apulia (from 1148).
  5. Henry, died in infancy.

King Alfonso VI & his fifth wife had three children (born before the marriage of their parents):

4. Infanta doña ELVIRA de Castilla y León ([1100/16 Mar 1104]-8 Feb 1135). The Chronicon Regum Legionensium names "Sancha the wife of count Rodrigo and Elvira who married Duke Roger of Sicily" as the daughters of King Alfonso and his fourth "legitimate wife…Elisabeth"[566]. Both daughters are named in a charter dated 16 Mar 1104[567]. In view of the dates of their marriages, it is unlikely that they were born much before this date. This suggests that their mother may have been King Alfonso's fifth wife, formerly known by her Muslim name Zaïda, although if their estimated birth dates are correct there would have been an interval of several years between their births and the birth of their older brother Sancho, which seems surprising. In the case of Elvira, there is another factor which suggests that Zaïda may have been her mother, which is discussed below. The Annals of Romoald name "Albiriam filiam regis Yspanie" as wife of "rex Rogerius…cum esset comes et iuvenis"[568]. According to Reilly, Elvira daughter of King Alfonso by "Elisabeth" married Fernando Fernández[569]. If this was correct, it would mean that King Roger's wife was King Alfonso's daughter by Jimena Muñoz (see below), which seems unlikely given the estimated birth date of the older Elvira. It would also mean that King Roger's wife was the widow of Raymond de Saint-Gilles Comte de Toulouse. However, if that was the case, it would be surprising that the fact was not mentioned in contemporary chronicles, considering how widely Raymond's crusading exploits were recorded. Assuming that Zaïda was the mother of King Roger's wife, her half-Muslim extraction may have been a factor which favoured the marriage, as King Roger's good relations with the largely Muslim population of Sicily was fundamental to the success of his dynasty in the island. The De Rebus Gestis Rogerii Siciliæ Regis of Alessandro Abbot of Telese records the death of "Alberia regina", dated to [1134/35] from the context[570]. The Chronicle of Romualdo Guarna records the deaths of "Albyria…regina…et filia eius…Tarentinus princeps et Anfusus Capuanorum princeps et Henricus", recorded in a section dealing with 1145 although the text appears to be recapitalitive of earlier events[571].

m ([1117]) as his first wife, ROGER II Count of Sicily, son of ROGER I Count of Sicily & his third wife Adelaida di Savona [Monferrato] (22 Dec 1095-Palermo 26 Feb 1154, bur Palermo Cathedral). He was crowned in 1130 as ROGER II King of Sicily.

ID: I165990

Name: Elvira Alfonez , Princess Castile and Leon

Sex: F

Birth: ABT 1104

Father: King of Castile and Leon Alfonzo b: BEF JUN 1040 in Burgos, Castile, Espania

Mother: Zaida Isabel Ximena b: ABT 1068 in Denia, Alcante, Espania

Marriage 1 II Ruggero , King of Sicily b: ABT 1097 in Of, Toledo, Espania


Constanza de Hauteville , Princess HRE b: 2 NOV 1154 in Of, Sicily
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