Anno Obumbratio: A 16th Century Alternate History

I do not have a new chapter for you all just yet...

But I wanted to thank both @Aluma and @FalconHonour for nominating Anno for the Turtledoves. Thanks to everyone who has been along for this wild ride these last few months as I've stepped back into Alternate History again. It's been such a warm welcome and a lot of fun picking up an old hobby again. January has been absolutely crazy work wise and I've been a bit down creatively, but I am working on the next chapters and I hope to have something out in the next few weeks.
Don't worry, join the club!!
 
I do not have a new chapter for you all just yet...

But I wanted to thank both @Aluma and @FalconHonour for nominating Anno for the Turtledoves. Thanks to everyone who has been along for this wild ride these last few months as I've stepped back into Alternate History again. It's been such a warm welcome and a lot of fun picking up an old hobby again. January has been absolutely crazy work wise and I've been a bit down creatively, but I am working on the next chapters and I hope to have something out in the next few weeks.
This is an amazing TL, it’s so rich and detailed and meticulous. @DrakeRlugia can’t wait for the new chapters!
 
Chapter 32. The Lands of Spain
And after a bit of a small hiatus, I finally have a new chapter for you all! I want to note that a few of the pictures used in this chapter is AI Generated. I have to admit that AI Art in general makes me a little iffy, since the ethics of it haven't been fully explored yet, but I have to admit that it's a great tool to create pictures of things and people that do not exist in our world. Pictures that are AI generated are noted.

Chapter 32. The Lands of Spain
1539-1543; Spain.

“Those who knowingly allow the King to err deserve the same punishment as traitors.”
— Alfonso X of Castile


Musical Accompaniment: La Tricotea

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Prince Ferdinand of Asturias in Armor. Date Unknown.

The Treaty of Lucca signed in 1539 ended the perennial conflict between the Habsburgs and Valois—and once more brought peace astride the Pyrenees. Spain had gained little through their most recent conflict with France, though they continued to hold the Kingdom of Navarre south of the Pyrenees. Spain continued to be governed by the Prince of Asturias—Emperor Charles’ brother, Ferdinand. Ferdinand stepped further into his role as the guardian of Spain—even without the title of king. The 1530s had seen Ferdinand use Spanish influence and power to his benefit and aim—aside from aiding his brother against both the French and the Turk, Ferdinand had begun his campaigns in the Mediterranean to counter the growing naval power of the Turkish barbary pirates in North Africa, and to provide a check on French naval influence out of Naples. Despite his independent moves, Ferdinand—and Spain—remained beholden to the imperial whims and needs of Charles V outside of the Iberian Peninsula.

Gold and precious metals continued to enter Spain through the New World, where administrations were beginning to coalesce around the former native empires in both Mexico and Peru. Shiploads of precious metals entered Spain through the port of Seville, where the Casa de Contratación, known as the House of Trade, allowed the crown to levy its tax of twenty percent—known as the Quinto Reale upon all precious metals entering Spain, alongside other taxes, such as taxes for naval protection. Though the emperor received a portion of these revenues, the 1530s saw more portions of the vast wealth pouring into Spain appropriated by the Prince of Asturias for his own financial needs. “Spanish gold should aid Spanish interests,” one member of the Cortes wrote to a member of the Council of Finances, outlining his support for an edict debated by the council that would allow Charles V to continue to receive subsidies from Spain, but also remand a larger portion remain behind in Spain. “—our gifts and talents cannot continue to be wasted in fruitless escapades within the empire.” Such moves were supported privately by Prince Ferdinand, who lightly chided his brother in a private letter: “You must understand that your loyal subjects shall continue to support you… but they must be supported as well.” The Prince of Asturias used part of the wealth that came his way in support of his foreign policies, such as building up the Spanish navy and constructing fortifications in North Africa. He also expended great sums building up his splendor as heir to the crown of Spain by constructing new churches, monasteries, and even palaces.

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The Palace of Antigua, circa 1600; AI Generated.

The zenith of Ferdinand’s building program concerned Valladolid, which was one of the Prince of Asturias's favored cities and residences. The Spanish monarchy of the period was still highly mobile; the court centered around wherever the king (or in this case, the crown prince) resided. Ferdinand favored Valladolid—with his disfavor reserved for Toledo and the nearby hamlet of Madrid—two areas that conjured up ghosts from the 1520s that were better left buried, and where Ferdinand seldom stayed following his ascendance as Spain’s heir. Though Valladolid was an important city within the Kingdom of Castile, it did not have an official royal residence—a fact that Ferdinand sought to remedy. The plans for the Palacio de Antigua began with Ferdinand’s appropriation of Valladolid’s old parish church of Santa Maria de Antigua and the lands around it. The parish church was in poor condition, and Ferdinand arranged for the lands to return to the crown in return for Ferdinand agreeing to incorporate the church into his planned palace complex. Ferdinand’s chief architect in his building plans was Hernan Ruiz, an architect from Cordoba known for his Renaissance styles. “Ruiz knows exactly what I desire, and how it should be built,” Ferdinand wrote in a letter to his councilors. “Ensure that he has what he requires and cause him no trouble—cost is not an issue.” Aside from the Palacio of Antigua, Ferdinand also paid attention to Valladolid as a whole: the 1530s saw great wealth poured into the city as Ferdinand ordered streets and roads paved with stone, as well as providing funds for what would become known as the Hospital of the Holy Innocents—dedicated to the care of those suffering from lunacy and insanity.

In his family life, Ferdinand had a blessed marriage with Isabella of Portugal. He was wholly devoted to his wife, and their marriage proved incredibly fecund. The royal nursery, filled with four children in 1533 was soon joined by further additions: Carlos (b. 1536), Catalina (b. 1537; d. young), Enrique (b. 1538), Leonor (b. 1540), and Maximiliano (b. 1541). The Spanish royal line, once on the brink of extinction now overflew—with six Infantes and two living Infantas. Ferdinand and Isabella were attentive parents for their rank—but the grand ceremony of the Spanish court dominated the lives of the Spanish royal children from a young age, where the ancient ceremonies still dominated. Though Charles V had made some additions to the Spanish court ceremonial (influenced by the court rituals of Burgundy) during his time in Spain in the 1520s, such ceremonials were Hispanicized in the 1530s as Ferdinand came into further control. The royal household comprised two sections: the Mayordomia (Stewardship) and the Camareria (Ladyship). The Mayordomo Mayor headed the Mayordomia, who served as chief steward of the royal household. Beneath the Mayordomo Mayor was the Sumillier de Corps, introduced by Charles V in 1517 and served as grand chamberlain of the king’s bedchamber. Following the death of Paule de Amersdorf in 1521, this position remained empty, having been dominated by Charles V's Flemish courtiers. Only in 1530 did Ferdinand deign to appoint a replacement—using the Spanish title of Camarero Mayor instead of the former Burgundian title.

The royal household was riotous, and each prince was more different than the one who preceded him. Fernando Alonso, the eldest, was staid and studious—with one courtier noting: “The young prince was born knowing the weight of the crown that would one day be upon his shoulders.” Manuel, the second son was a favorite of his mother and attached to his elder brother—a practical shadow followed Fernando wherever he went. The Infante Juan, born 1533 was perhaps the most outgoing of Ferdinand and Isabella’s children—he was fond of pulling pranks and jokes upon his nurses. Carlos, named after his uncle, was a taciturn child—he rarely smiled and preferred books to people. The youngest infantes, Enrique and Maximiliano joined an already crowded nursery: though Maximiliano was as gentle as a lamb as some nurses said, Enrique was anything but. Even as a baby, he wailed almost continuously and suffered from colic and teething issues regularly. Royal doctors prescribed a variety of concoctions, but few seemed to work.

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Saint Dominic presiding over an Auto-de-Fe; c. 1493.

The Spanish court under Ferdinand’s tutelage was increasingly grandiose, fueled by the treasures of the new world. The veneer of Burgundian pastiche introduced briefly by Charles V was washed away and purified by Ferdinand, who sought to blend ceremonials imported by his brother by making them native to Spain. Old Castilian court ceremonials were made increasingly grand—with Ferdinand taking his role as Prince of Asturias and viceroy to his brother, very seriously. “The court of Spain evolved greatly under Prince Ferdinand’s regency,” one etiquette historian would write nearly a century later. “Infused with new wealth and importance, Ferdinand emphasized the importance of a new Hispanic monarchy—Castile and Aragon now united into a singular Spain, whose sovereigns would stand toe to toe alongside the Kings of France and Emperors of the Holy Roman Emperor. Under Ferdinand, the true Spanish court ceremonial would be born—shed of French influence, it would instead be full of Spanish grandezza, reverence, and religious devotion.” Indeed, ties to religion and faith played a heavy role—Ferdinand revived the practice of exorcisms practiced by the Kings of Castile in the Middle Ages, believed to aid those possessed by demons by making the sign of the cross and invoking God. Ferdinand also founded new ceremonials where he bestowed royal kisses upon those who stuttered—with the House of Habsburg believed to possess the power to cure stutterers.

Compared to the court of France, where secular gaiety reigned, the Spanish court ceremonies were seeped in religious observances—the period before and around Easter became the height of Spanish court celebrations. The so-called Lenten Balls date from this period, first hosted by Isabella in 1538. “The idea was devised by the princess herself,” the Duchess of Gandia, Camarera Mayor to Isabella wrote in her private journals. “The celebration was held on Ash Wednesday, with a strict dresscode enforced—of either white, black, or grey. The ceremonies began in the royal chapel, and mass was celebrated. Afterward, the lords and ladies were invited to watch as the Prince and Princess of Asturias received ashen crosses from the archbishop.” Following the service was a majestic Lenten feast where various offerings of fish were put before them—from sole and flounder to oysters and frog’s legs, alongside sundry dishes of various vegetables, fruits, and pastries. The ball ended not with dancing, but with a religious play that depicted the Passion of Jesus. Ferdinand also played his new role as head of Spanish court ceremonies by creating a new chivalric order, the Order of the Black Eagle. Dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, this new order highlighted the glories of Spain. It provided Spain with a chivalric order not unlike the Order of the Golden Fleece—a Burgundian Order within the hands of the emperor would cease to be part of the Spanish patrimony after his death.

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Depiction of a Lenten Ball, c. Late 16th Century; AI Generated.

Still, all was not without troubles in Spain during Ferdinand’s regency. In 1540, repairs began on the Royal Alcazar in Madrid. When workers knocked out a part of a wall within the interior of the Alcazar, they discovered the corpse of a young boy—young Prince Philip who had gone missing nearly twenty years before. “The corpse of the young prince was discovered during repair work,” one chronicler of the period wrote. “Concealed within the wall of one of the interior chambers, still in good condition. There were signs that the young prince had died violently—with marks about his neck that indicated strangulation…” Ferdinand ordered the young prince interned at the Monastery of Saint Maria of Guadeloupe, with all the pomp and ceremony due to him as a Prince of Asturias. Ferdinand spent great sums on constructing a magnificent sarcophagus for the deceased prince. He also gave funds to the monastery for the monks within to say mass and pray for the soul of the deceased prince in perpetuity. It was a bittersweet memory for the prince who had lived for only a short time—and had died in mysterious circumstances. There remained no answer to what had happened to Philip, or who had disposed of him. The emperor made only one request of his brother—that a part of his son’s bones should be repatriated to the Low Countries so that they could be interned with his mother, the late Empress Mary at the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula.

Ferdinand’s government remained firmly rooted in the polysynodial system. To the already existing councils, Ferdinand ordered the establishment of a Council of State in 1535 to handle foreign affairs. Unlike the other councils which had presidents, Ferdinand formally took the role of head of the council—with the expectation that the sovereign would serve as head of the council. Ferdinand staffed the council with members of the high nobility and clergy, such as the Duke of Alba and the Archbishop of Santiago. Though Ferdinand remained a staunch supporter of his brother, his foreign policy focused on the Mediterranean—providing an anchor of containment against the Ottomans as well as fighting back against French influence in southern Italy. “All we do must be for the Christendom and the Catholic faith,” Ferdinand wrote in a letter to one member of the Council of State—marking clear his foreign policy ideas and expectations. Ferdinand also had his growing brood of children—Infantes and Infantas who would be able to guide his policies further through the marriage matches his eldest children might make. Isabella took a keen interest in the potential marital matches of her children, as well. “It is no secret that the Princess of Asturias desires nothing but the best for her eldest son and eldest daughter,” one courtier wrote anonymously in a letter to a friend. “She knows that the wait for the Crown of Spain might be many years indeed… she sees her children as the future of Spain and wishes that they are wed in a most suitable state.”

It was little surprise that Isabella, as a Portuguese princess, supported the idea of marriage matches with her native country. She promoted assiduously the idea of a dual marriage—that her eldest son, the Infante Fernando Alonso would wed her brother’s youngest daughter—and her niece—the Infanta Beatriz, while her eldest daughter, the Infanta Maria would be married to the Crown Prince of Portugal—the Infante Carlos Manuel. Intermarriage between the Iberian dynasties had long been the custom, and Isabella wished for it to continue. For Ferdinand, aside from potential marriage matches for his children, one thing weighed heavily upon his mind: his finances. Ferdinand had been given a generous settlement as Prince of Asturias—an annual sum of some 450,000 maravedis, but this was quickly outpaced and outstripped by the growth of his family. Additional grants totaling some 400,000 maravedis would be made throughout the 1530s by the Castilian Cortes, but it never seemed to be enough. Ferdinand also faced a greater issue: by 1542 he possessed six sons, all hale and hearty—all of whom would require some suitable establishment as well as titles when they came of age. It was not just Ferdinand himself that might face financial ruin through this prospect, but Spain as a whole—the royal demesne, recovered and reunited by his grandparents needed to pass unscathed into the hands of the next Kings of Spain. It could not be splintered just because Ferdinand had been fortunate enough to receive a wife capable of giving him so many heirs. It was a delicate issue—even keeping his sons at court in their youth would be an expensive undertaking.

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Posthumous Portrait of Juan Pardo de Tavera, El Grieco.

A solution to this problem came to Ferdinand through one of his greatest allies—Juan Pardo de Tavera, Archbishop of Toledo since 1534. “The prince despaired of the future of the royal children as any dutiful father might—wanting only the best for them and fearing the possibilities of the future,” the archbishop wrote in his private memoirs. “It was only fitting that the council should aid our most gracious prince in this most difficult issue,” Tavera suggested that the youngest infantes, from Juan to Maximiliano, should be raised away from court. For Juan, he suggested that the young prince should be fostered within a noble household—and that they should pay for the privilege of hosting the young prince. For the younger princes, Tavera suggested that they should be reared at the Monastery of Saint Maria of Guadeloupe: not only to minimize expenses but to prepare the youngest princes for a possible religious vocation. Tavera reportedly uttered a famous phrase at this suggestion: “As God as has seen fit to give your highness so many sons—it is only fit that you should give some of them up for the glories and grace of God.” Aside from religious motives, it was practical. Sons entering religious life would be entitled to benefices; they could be kept in suitable stations through the wealth of the church in Spain, rather than beggaring the royal household. In the summer of 1542, Tavera’s plan was put into motion: the parting of the princes was bittersweet. It had been decided that the Infante Juan would be fostered in the household of the Duke of Medina Sidonia. Juan raged at the idea of being sent away, and the ten-year-old prince refused to speak to either of his parents as he boarded his carriage. The younger princes, ranging from six down to a year old took their exits more gracefully—though Isabella still reportedly wept afterward, telling the Duchess of Gandia: “It is as if a piece of my heart has been ripped away, and I do not know if it shall ever return.”

Isabella suffered greatly from parting with her children. Her health had begun to falter through her repeated pregnancies, and during her later pregnancies she suffered from dark moods and was often shaken by her nerves that she could not leave her chambers for days at a time—what would today be diagnosed as prenatal depression. She also suffered from physical issues: dizzy spells, pain in her hips and chest, and mysterious rashes that came and went without explanation. Following the birth of Maximiliano, the royal doctors counseled Ferdinand and Isabella both that her body would need time to recover—a further pregnancy was not recommended. “The princess bore the news with stoic grace,” one of her ladies wrote in a letter home. “But she did not fear the news. She truly loved the prince and loved her family. Her greatest joy was to bring life into the world, and such joy covered any fears that she might have.” By the fall of 1542, Isabella was pregnant once again—for the eleventh time. Her pregnancy was relatively calm, though all about the court noticed how great her belly had become: larger than any of her previous pregnancies. “Many wondered if something foul was afoot,” one courtier wrote in his journal. “But others wondered if perhaps the princess carried not one prince—but two.” Such rumors proved correct when Isabella went into labor in May of 1543. Her labor proved arduous—for two days and two nights Isabella was ensconced within her bedchamber, attempting to bring forth her next child. Late on the final evening, Isabella delivered a healthy boy—who would be named Pedro. But her travail was not yet over, and the young prince was soon followed by a strapping princess, who would be named Margarita. Neither child had been well positioned at birth, but both seemed well.

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Birth of the Virgin; Fresco by Juan de Borgoña, c. 1495.

All was well following the birth, and Ferdinand visited his wife soon afterward—bestowing upon her two beautiful diamond rings as a gift for the children she had borne. Several days following the birth, Ferdinand arranged for the newly born children to be christened in the royal chapel of the Alcazar of Segovia, where the court was presently staying. Though Isabella seemed to be in high spirits following the birth, within several days she began a drastic decline—she continued to hemorrhage blood and suffered from a high fever and abdominal pain. When the royal doctors were finally admitted into the chamber, Isabella was already fading in and out of consciousness. Ferdinand attended to his wife—her hand clasped firmly within his own. “The prince was beyond grief when he saw the condition of his wife,” one of the ladies who attended Isabella’s birth wrote in her private journals. “The midwives were at a loss, nor could the royal doctors deal with the sudden symptoms; they prescribed purgatives and enemas that helped little. The prince was so desperate for relief that he sought the intervention of Saint Didacus… the saint’s body was brought in great haste from Alcala, whereupon it was brought to the bedchamber of the princess. She was at this point unconscious, but the monks took her delicate hand and placed it upon the chest of the saint in the hope of renewal…” Even the hope of faith did not aid Isabella—and five days following the birth of her last two children, she perished without ever regaining consciousness, a few months shy of her fortieth birthday.

“It has brought me the greatest sorrow you can imagine,” Ferdinand would write in a letter to his brother shortly after the death of Isabella. “She was the most beautiful woman that I had ever met. None shall ever compare to her, and I cannot help but wonder how I am supposed to continue. I feel her death more fiercely than even the deaths of our young daughters, Isabella, and Catarina… we were wed for sixteen years, and I knew her better than I knew myself… just as she knew me. We must accept the will of God. May God forgive me, but I wish he had taken me instead of my wife.” Ferdinand ordered his wife interned in the Royal Chapel of Granada, where the Catholic Monarchs had been buried. Ferdinand accompanied his wife’s funeral cortege to Granada, alongside his eldest sons, Fernando Alonso and Manuel, and his daughter Maria. Ferdinand was so stricken with grief that he decided to retire to the monastery of Santa Cruz la Real, in Segovia. Ferdinand would remain cloistered there for three months—and would wear the black of a widower for the remainder of his life.
 
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The zenith of Ferdinand’s building program concerned Valladolid, which was one of the Prince of Asturias's favored cities and residences. The Spanish monarchy of the period was still highly mobile; the court centered around wherever the king (or in this case, the crown prince) resided. Ferdinand favored Valladolid—with his disfavor reserved for Toledo and the nearby hamlet of Madrid—two areas that conjured up ghosts from the 1520s that were better left buried, and where Ferdinand seldom stayed following his ascendance as Spain’s heir.
Interesting! I wonder if Valladolid will be the capital of Spain ttl. It is fairly central in the Spanish peninsula, albeit a bit northern
In his family life, Ferdinand had a blessed marriage with Isabella of Portugal. He was wholly devoted to his wife, and their marriage proved incredibly fecund. The royal nursery, filled with four children in 1533 was soon joined by further additions: Carlos (b. 1536), Catalina (b. 1537; d. young), Enrique (b. 1538), Leonor (b. 1540), and Maximiliano (b. 1541). The Spanish royal line, once on the brink of extinction now overflew—with six Infantes and two living Infantas. Ferdinand and Isabella were attentive parents for their rank—but the grand ceremony of the Spanish court dominated the lives of the Spanish royal children from a young age, where the ancient ceremonies still dominated.
Nice to see the Spanish line prosper! They certainly were luckier than she and Charles were otl
Ferdinand also played his new role as head of Spanish court ceremonies by creating a new chivalric order, the Order of the Golden Eagle. Dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, this new order highlighted the glories of Spain. It provided Spain with a chivalric order not unlike the Order of the Golden Fleece—a Burgundian Order within the hands of the emperor would cease to be part of the Spanish patrimony after his death.
Good thing that Spain gets their own order ttl. If I might come with an idea, can it be the Order of the Black/Onyx Eagle instead? That way it fits better with the eagle on their coat of arms. Also Sardonyx was believed to help with eloquence in the renaissance, which fits with the Habsburg stutter fix superstition. It also seperates it further from the Flemish/Austrian order
Still, all was not without troubles in Spain during Ferdinand’s regency. In 1540, repairs began on the Royal Alcazar in Madrid. When workers knocked out a part of a wall within the interior of the Alcazar, they discovered the corpse of a young boy—young Prince Philip who had gone missing nearly twenty years before. “The corpse of the young prince was discovered during repair work,” one chronicler of the period wrote. “Concealed within the wall of one of the interior chambers, still in good condition. There were signs that the young prince had died violently—with marks about his neck that indicated strangulation…”
Oh dear… Poor child
It was little surprise that Isabella, as a Portuguese princess, supported the idea of marriage matches with her native country. She promoted assiduously the idea of a dual marriage—that her eldest son, the Infante Fernando Alonso would wed her brother’s youngest daughter—and her niece—the Infanta Beatriz, while her eldest daughter, the Infanta Maria would be married to the Crown Prince of Portugal—the Infante Carlos Manuel. Intermarriage between the Iberian dynasties had long been the custom, and Isabella wished for it to continue.
The Iberian bloodpools get ever shallower… At least Spain has backup lines once the main line inbreeds itself to death
Even the hope of faith did not aid Isabella—and five days following the birth of her last two children, she perished without ever regaining consciousness, a few months shy of her fortieth birthday.
Damn, poor Isabella. It’s amazing that she hung on as long as she did though. She even lived longer ttl than otl. I guess Ferdinand is destined to be a widower. And she will probably be remembered as the queen all other queens will have to match

A nice Spanish interlude! And wonderful to see this excellent TL return! <3
 
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Great update. Another double match with Portugal seems inevitable but hopefully the younger sons that don't go into the Church will marry people unrelated to them.
 
@DrakeRlugia, come meet me in the parking lot, I just want to talk.
I will be in the parking lot from 9-10 for any and all who want to talk. 😬

Interesting! I wonder if Valladolid will be the capital of Spain ttl. It is fairly central in the Spanish peninsula, albeit a bit northern
It’s looking possible! I suppose it will depend on Ferdinand’s son, but if Ferdinand does the work up building up Valladolid, it may likely become a viable capital when/if the Spanish monarchy designates a capital. Either way, the Toledo / Madrid area is likely to be ignored so long as Ferdinand alive.

Good thing that Spain gets their own order ttl. If I might come with an idea, can it be the Order of the Black/Onyx Eagle instead? That way it fits better with the eagle on their coat of arms. Also Sardonyx was believed to help with eloquence in the renaissance, which fits with the Habsburg stutter fix superstition. It also seperates it further from the Flemish/Austrian order
Oh, I love this idea! I was trying to stay away from extant named orders, but there’s no Order of the Black Eagle at this time and would fit the coloring of St. John’s Eagle that was used by the Catholic Monarchs (and likely used by Ferdinand too). Consider it done!

Oh dear… Poor child
Part of the mystery uncovered—though we’re likely to ever know what truly happened and who did it / ordered it. At least he is at rest, and part of him will be able to be interned alongside his mother. Perhaps Empress Mary’s soul will finally be at ease.

The Iberian bloodpools get ever shallower… At least Spain has backup lines once the main line inbreeds itself to death
Yes… a bit unfortunate, but I feel like these would be the most likely marriages pursued for his eldest son and daughter. Ferdinand will be even more likely to pursue such a match now that Isabella is gone. Still, anything can happen… if something were to render the Portuguese marriage impossible, the only other match would be with one of Mary’s daughters, who are a bit younger than the Infanta Beatriz.

Damn, poor Isabella. It’s amazing that she hung on as long as she did though. She even lived longer ttl than otl. I guess Ferdinand is destined to be a widower. And she will probably be remembered as the queen all other queens will have to match
Ah, yes—I’ll admit, I was not happy with the idea of pushing her off, but she had given birth to many many children. She will likely be memorialized as one of Spain’s greatest consorts, even if she was never queen herself. She’ll be akin to other selfless consorts who devoted themselves to their families and childbearing, even as it effected their health.

Glad seeing this back!
Thank you, Kurd!

Great update. Another double match with Portugal seems inevitable but hopefully the younger sons that don't go into the Church will marry people unrelated to them.
I think a couple of them might at a minimum, since the Iberian monarchies were fond of sending their extra sons into the church. Of the ones sent to the monastery, at least—but not all of them. After all, some of them may not have temperaments for such a vocation. The spare, Manuel, remains at court with his eldest brother and might be able to conduct a foreign match (though likely not a prestigious one). The third son, Juan, who is being reared in the household of the Duke of Medina Sidonia is definitely being prepared for a secular career as well, likely in the army or navy. Given his status as a third son, he’s unlikely to be considered “top billing” for a foreign marriage. He could easily marry a rich Spanish heiress. Ferdinand I’s third son IOTL did marry a Bavarian Princess, but relatively late in life at 31—I’m not sure if the Iberian Habsburgs would look into Germany for a bride, outside their Habsburg cousins, but maybe they would.

For sons even further down the pecking order, they’ll likely have to content themselves with domestic marriages if they do marry. Some of Ferdinand’s sons are definitely going to be rather boisterous personalities as they grow up, and they made decide to take a page from the book of their great-uncles in Portugal… quite of a few of them didn’t marry and instead were happy enough to dally with their mistresses (much as George III’s sons did centuries later). Either way, Ferdinand has a headache coming his way with all these boys!
 
Oh, I love this idea! I was trying to stay away from extant named orders, but there’s no Order of the Black Eagle at this time and would fit the coloring of St. John’s Eagle that was used by the Catholic Monarchs (and likely used by Ferdinand too). Consider it done!
Not me not knowing that Prussia had an Order of the Black Eagle hahah. If Prussia becomes a thing ttl, they’ll just have to find another name!
Part of the mystery uncovered—though we’re likely to ever know what truly happened and who did it / ordered it. At least he is at rest, and part of him will be able to be interned alongside his mother. Perhaps Empress Mary’s soul will finally be at ease.
Empress Mary’s ghost has deffo met people in the parking lot after dark
Yes… a bit unfortunate, but I feel like these would be the most likely marriages pursued for his eldest son and daughter. Ferdinand will be even more likely to pursue such a match now that Isabella is gone. Still, anything can happen… if something were to render the Portuguese marriage impossible, the only other match would be with one of Mary’s daughters, who are a bit younger than the Infanta Beatriz.
Yeah. Given politics, it makes perfect sense. Although, hopefully only one of the matches materialize. That being said, Spain has more sons to carry on the line and outbreed the family. I can’t remember if the same thing is true for Portugal though. Perhaps it’s time for another Portuguese update as well? :)
 
Well I can only imagine ferdinand will follow his dear isabella's wishes and marry his eldest two children in portugal...
That is exactly his plan. Nothing will be able to dissuade him from the idea (and to be fair, they are the marriages that make the most sense: other possible brides for Fernando Alonso are much younger and would necessitate having to wait, while the Crown Prince of Portugal is the only heir really available for the Infanta Maria.

Yeah. Given politics, it makes perfect sense. Although, hopefully only one of the matches materialize. That being said, Spain has more sons to carry on the line and outbreed the family. I can’t remember if the same thing is true for Portugal though. Perhaps it’s time for another Portuguese update as well? :)
Unfortunately João and Eleanor have not been as blessed as Ferdinand and Isabella. They have one surviving son, Carlos Manuel, and two surviving daughters—Maria, born in 1521 and Beatriz born in 1530. Maria is unfortunately too old for Fernando Alonso, and as there’s no other available options for her, she’s likely to remain unwed…

We can definitely visit Portugal soon and have an update on what’s going on—perhaps after we make a quick visit up north to Scandinavia to check in there…
 
That is exactly his plan. Nothing will be able to dissuade him from the idea (and to be fair, they are the marriages that make the most sense: other possible brides for Fernando Alonso are much younger and would necessitate having to wait, while the Crown Prince of Portugal is the only heir really available for the Infanta Maria.
oh it definitely is the most logical plan
 
Interesting! I wonder if Valladolid will be the capital of Spain ttl. It is fairly central in the Spanish peninsula, albeit a bit northern
That would be a very interesting possibility, although if Ferdinand's lineage follows the idea of being less absolutist, I see it as feasible that Valladolid becomes the royal city and Toledo/Madrid is the political center where the Parliament/General Court is located in the future.
 
We can definitely visit Portugal soon and have an update on what’s going on—perhaps after we make a quick visit up north to Scandinavia to check in there…
I am so ready for this
Unfortunately João and Eleanor have not been as blessed as Ferdinand and Isabella. They have one surviving son, Carlos Manuel, and two surviving daughters—Maria, born in 1521 and Beatriz born in 1530. Maria is unfortunately too old for Fernando Alonso, and as there’s no other available options for her, she’s likely to remain unwed…
I smell an end to the house of Aviz and a Spanish Portugal
 
People really hate the Aviz.
Not at all! My ideal Iberian union would be through an Aviz son of Manuel/Afonso of Portugal and Isabella of Aragon. But with how bare the line is here, and with them about to enter yet another close relations marriage with the Habsburgs for two of their kids… Well, it just doesn’t seem likely that a strong line will materialize for the Aviz
 
Not at all! My ideal Iberian union would be through an Aviz son of Manuel/Afonso of Portugal and Isabella of Aragon. But with how bare the line is here, and with them about to enter yet another close relations marriage with the Habsburgs for two of their kids… Well, it just doesn’t seem likely that a strong line will materialize for the Aviz
Even OTL the Iberian Union was kinda a fluke. Manuel I had 9 sons that could have kept the dynasty going. Three of them died in infancy, but all the others reached adulthood. If you avoid them entering the Church and marry them early enough, there would be a lot of "Avizes" around.
 
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