Isabella I (Spanish: Isabel) was born on April 22, 1451 and died on November 26, 1504.

In 1468, young Princess Isabella received a second marriage proposal from King Afonso of Portugal. Going against his promises made in September. Isabella's brother King Henry IV tried to make the marriage a reality. If Isabella married Alfonso, Henry's daughter Joanna would marry Alfonso's son John II and thus, after the death of the old king, John and Joanna could inherit Portugal and Castile. Isabella refused and made a secret promise to marry her cousin, Ferdinand of Aragon. After, King Henry IV failed in his attempt to bring Isabella and Alfonso together, he tried again. In Henry's eyes, this alliance would cement the friendship of Castile and France as well as remove Isabella from Castilian affairs. Isabella once again refused the proposal. Meanwhile, John II of Aragon negotiated in secret with Isabella a wedding to his son Ferdinand. On October 18, 1469, the formal betrothal took place. Her marriage to Ferdinand II of Aragon became the basis for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles I.

On December 12 1474, news of Princess Isabella's brother King Henry IV's death in Madrid reached Segovia prompting Isabella to take refuge within the walls of the Alcázar of Segovia where she received the support of Andres Cabrera and Segovia's council. The next day, Isabella was crowned as Queen of Castile and León. She reigned as Queen of Castile from 1474 until her death in 1504.

Her reign got off to a rocky start, as there were already several plots against her. Diego Pacheco, the Marquis of Villena, and his followers maintained that Joanna la Beltraneja, daughter of Isabella's brother King Henry IV, was the rightful queen. Shortly after the Marquis made his claim, a longtime supporter of Isabella, the Archbishop of Toledo, left court to plot with his great-nephew the Marquis. The Archbishop and Marquis made plans to have the Infanta Joanna marry her uncle, King Alfonso V of Portugal and invade Castile to claim the throne for themselves.

After a struggle to claim her right to the throne, she reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, and unburdened the kingdom of the enormous debt her brother had left behind. Her reforms and those she made with her husband had an influence that extended well beyond the borders of their united kingdoms.

Isabella and her husband Ferdinand are known for completing the Reconquista, ordering conversion or exile of their Muslim and Jewish subjects, and for supporting and financing Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage that led to the opening of the New World and to the establishment of Spain as the first global power which dominated Europe and much of the world for more than a century.

Isabella, granted together with her husband the title "the Catholic" by Pope Alexander VI, was recognized as a Servant of God by the Catholic Church in 1974.

Isabella officially withdrew from governmental affairs on September 14, 1504 and died that same year on November 26 at the Medina del Campo Royal Palace. It is said that she her health declined after the death of her son Prince John of Asturias in 1497


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