Constance of Sicily (d. 1302)

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Constance of Sicily (d. 1302)

Queen of Aragon. Died in 1302; daughter of Manfred, king of Naples and Sicily (r. 1258–1266, illegitimate son of Frederick II, Holy Roman emperor) and Beatrice of Savoy; married Pedro III also known as Peter III, king of Aragon (r. 1276–1285), in 1262; children: Alphonso III (1265–1291), king of Aragon (r. 1285–1291); Elizabeth of Portugal (1271–1336); Jaime or James II (d. 1327), king of Aragon (r. 1291–1327); Frederick II (1271–1336), king of Sicily (r. 1296–1336).

Beatrice of Savoy (fl. 1240s)

Queen of Naples and Sicily. Name variations: Beatrix of Savoy. Flourished around the 1240s; married Manfred, king of Naples and Sicily (r. 1258–1266, illegitimate son of Frederick II, Holy Roman emperor); children: Constance of Sicily (d. 1302).

In many historical accounts of the late Medieval period, Constance, queen of Aragon (located in the western Mediterranean, and including Sicily and Sardinia), is never mentioned. The limited information about her life tells us that she was the daughter and heir of Manfred, king of Sicily, and his first wife Beatrice of Savoy . In 1262, Constance married Peter III, king of Aragon, who ruled from 1276 to 1285. Shortly after the marriage, her father Manfred lost his throne in 1266 to Charles of Anjou (son of Louis VIII of France), who was subsequently driven out of Sicily in a bloody revolt known as the Sicilian Vespers (1282). As Constance's husband, Peter III now had entrée to the throne, although the papacy still recognized Charles as king of Naples and Sicily. After defeating Charles at Callo, Peter recaptured the throne in Constance's name, maintaining his refusal to pay homage to the pope. The ensuing struggle to maintain the family right to ascendancy continued even after Peter's death in 1285. Constance apparently spent the rest of her life seeing that her children were established as rulers of Sicily. She was fairly successful: Alphonso III succeeded to the throne of Aragon; James I succeeded to the throne of Sicily under his mother's regency and later succeeded to the throne of Aragon; and Frederick II, appointed a regent in 1291 when James took over Aragon, was elected king of Sicily four years later and eventually was recognized by the pope. Constance's daughter Elizabeth of Portugal left the kingdom and married Denis (Diniz), king of Portugal.

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Constance of Sicily (d. 1302)

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