The Monarchies of Ferdinand and Isabella

Classic Pamphlet

John Edwards, last updated: 18th January 2017

Unity & the Reconquest

On 12 December 1474, the news reached the Castillian city of Segovia, north-west of Madrid, that Henry IV, king of Castile, had died. After the proper ceremonies had been conducted in memory of the deceased monarch, his sister, Isabella, was proclaimed queen of Castile in that place. There was much comment because the ensuing procession one of her counsellors, Guitierre de Cardenas, riding on horseback, carried a naked sword in front of her, a gesture which some thought inappropriate for a female ruler. In any case, it demonstrated, in dramatic fashion, the queen's intention to act like a king and rule with power and justice, of which the unsheathed sword was a recognised symbol...

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