The meeting of Queen Joan with her children

It happened on the first trip of the future king to Spain, in 1517

The future Emperor Charles V first came to Spain in 1517 to claim his rights as King of Castile. On that journey, both he and his sister Leonor met with their mother Juana. What was that meeting like? We tell you about it below.

Charles was bound for Valladolid on his first trip to Spain, but one of the obligatory stops on the way was Tordesillas, where his mother, Queen Juana, lived – and suffered – from her sadness of life.


On that initial journey he was accompanied by his sister Leonor, and both of them were very keen to see their mother. However, another member of the retinue, William of Croy, Lord of Chièvres, had other plans. These were to pay his respects to the one who was still queen in order to please the Castilians; and also to bow down in favour of her son Charles. It was not in vain that they had known each other since Jeanne’s stay in Brussels, which Chièvres used in his own interests so that Charles would have a free hand on the throne and be invested with all possible legitimacy. Her aim was clear: to get Joan to delegate to Charles.
It was he who informed her that her sons Charles and Eleanor had come to see her. It had been eleven years since this had happened, and she hardly remembered having another of her daughters, Catherine, by her side.

What had happened?

Charles V.

Eleven years had passed since the last time they saw each other, we remember again. Charles began to praise his mother’s good physical condition – she was 37 at the time – as well as her health… But Joan did not see in them the boy – three years old – and the girl – one year – that she left in Brussels to return to Castile.
For a week, mother and children had time to catch up; and also for Carlos and Leonor to decide what to do with Catherine, the youngest, always at her mother’s side and dressed in such a way that she looked anything but the granddaughter of the Catholic Monarchs.

And it was there, in the Monastery of Santa Clara in Valladolid, that both Chièvres and Charles received the news of the death of Cardinal Cisneros, Governor of the Kingdom of Castile. He was now free to accede to the crown of the Kingdom, which Chièvres would take over.

When Charles left Tordesillas, he did so knowing that he was the new King of Castile.


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