The Prince of Peace
Or: Miguel da Paz Survives
The Iberian Pennisula in the Time of Ferdinand and Isabella
The Iberian Pennisula in the Time of Ferdinand and Isabella
The Birth of a Prince
1490 to 1504; Portugal and Spain
Isabella of Asturias had led a life with little happiness, and much sorrow. In 1490 she had met and married the love of her life, the Prince of Portugal, Alfonso. Yet barely a year later the prince had went and died in a riding accident along the River Tagus. João II, the King of Portugal duly sent his daughter-in-law home. Having born his son no child, her position in Portugal was useless to him; her continued presence in Lisbon only a reminder that he had lost his only son. Isabella returned to her parents in Spain heartbroken and declared she would never marry again, announcing her intention to retire to a convent. The Catholic monarchs, Isabella and Ferdinand were distressed at this, as she was their eldest daughter and the apple of their eye. While Isabella desired to coddle her daughter and grant her every desire, she had to be more pragmatic; at twenty-one, the girl was still young and capable of producing a child, making her eligible on the European marriage market. While consoling her daughter and promising to let her enter the convent of Santa Maria del Parral at the next convenient moment, the Queen of Spain plotted to find for her daughter a new husband. A husband who hopefully would not go and drown himself.
For six years Isabella played this game with her daughter. The moment came in 1495, when João II of Portugal died and his cousin and brother-in-law, Manuel, the Duke of Beja, succeeded him. The new Portuguese King immediately desired to marry Isabella, to strengthen ties of Portugal with the Kingdom of Spain. Following the expulsion of the Portuguese Jews, the Catholic monarchs had no qualms with such a match, and approved the marriage much to Isabella’s distress, who had seen her brother marry the Archduchess Margaret six months previously. On the way to Isabella’s wedding in Portugal, Juan, the heir to the thrones of Castile and Aragon died in Salamanca, of what was believed to be consumption. Immediately, Isabella, soon to be Queen of Portugal, became the Princess of Asturias, and new heiress to the domains of the Trastamara dynasty.
For Manuel, this was the greatest thing he could hope for, to see his dynasty rule over the entirety of Iberia. Yet for Isabella, this was hardly an ideal position, to be denied her wish to retire to a convent, forced to marry the uncle of her husband. Desiring to make good on his idea to see the thrones of Castile and Aragon pass to his family, it wasn’t any surprise that Isabella fell pregnant shortly after the marriage. After nine long months, on August 28, 1498, at Zaragoza in Spain, the Queen of Portugal and Princess of Asturias entered into labor. A difficult process, after several hours it was announced that she had given birth to a healthy baby boy. Named Miguel da Paz, he bore the dynastical name of Aviz-Trastamara, and was immediately created Prince of Portugal. Isabella was given time to recuperate, and several days later finally met with ladies of the court, showing off her new child and the future of light and hope for Iberia.
The Catholic monarchs personally congratulated Manuel on the birth of his son and heir. Yet with the pleasantries aside, there was also much to discuss, as on the little babies shoulders rested the fate of the whole of Iberia. Manuel needed to return to Lisbon in due time, to govern his kingdom. No doubt his queen would be expected to join him (with their child) in due time. The Catholic monarchs, however, desired to see Miguel da Paz remain in Spain; after all, he would come to someday rule these lands, and would benefit from being educated in a Spanish manner. The King of Portugal didn’t wish to offend the Catholic monarchs, as it might jeopardize relations between Portugal and Spain, and reluctantly agreed to leave his son as a ward of Isabella and Ferdinand, on the condition that important appointments concerning the boy’s future education were discussed with him. This was acceptable to the King and Queen of Spain and plans were laid to house the Prince of Peace at Granada. Manuel left for Portugal shortly after, leaving his wife in the hands of her parents.
The Princess of Asturias and Queen of Portugal recovered from the ordeal of childbirth some weeks later, and departed from her spacious lodgings at Zaragoza to return to her husband in Portugal. Although he was not Alfonso, she had become genuinely fond of her husband, who was a religious and well-meaning man. She would go on to bear her husband four more children in quick succession, Infante Henry (1499, who died shortly after birth), Infanta Isabella (1500), Infanta Beatrice (1502), and Infanta Maria (1503).
Miguel da Paz, heir to Portugal and eventual King of Spain, was in the care of his grandparents in Spain. After a year in Zaragoza, he finally transferred to Granada, to the palace of the Emirs of Granada, to be raised by a mix of Portuguese, Castilian, and Catalan nurses. The warm airs were good for the young boy, and although he became briefly ill in 1500, he recovered. This caused some concern for Manuel, who had no other son to succeed him and feared not only the extinction of his dynasty, but losing the potential to see Portugal and Spain united under his son. Thereafter, caution was taken to maintain the Prince of Peace, who was nevertheless a robust and healthy child.
The years began to pass, and slowly the young boy began to grow…
 Perhaps the biggest POD; Isabella doesn’t die giving birth to the Prince.
 He died in 1500, IOTL.
Whew! There we go, the first chapter of the Miguel da Paz timeline. Thanks to everyone who offered me ideas in my previous topic, this is certainly an interesting PoD and I've already had fun exploring it. I tried to find all the spelling/grammar mistakes, but if I missed any, I apologize.
As always, comments, critique, and discussion are welcome! I hope to be able to churn out a new section every once in awhile, depending on my mood. For reference, each section is named, has the years listed for which it occured, and the primary geographical areas it occurs it. Obviously, this first chapter deals with the earliest years of Miguel da Paz and concerns only Portugal and Spain.
Slowly, but surely, the timeline will expand outwards. I plan on going a mix of timelines, with years and basic events outlined, and posts such as these.