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Ancestor 16: Blanche Capet of France becomes Princess of Castile

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This is the 16th article in the project, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Blanche Capet of France is a 27th great-grandmother. She was a great-granddaughter of Eleanor Plantagenet and great-great granddaughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Blanche was born in 1253 in Jaffa, an ancient port city in Israel. She was born during the Seventh Crusade, which was led by her father, Louis IX of France. Her mother was Margaret of Provence.

Little is known about Blanche’s early years. She married Ferdinand de la Cerda in November 1268. His parents were Alfonso X of Castile and Violant of Aragon. Blanche and Ferdinand had two sons, Alfonso and Ferdinand.

Blanche’s husband, Ferdinand, died in 1275 while his father, Alfonso X, was still living. When Alfonso died in 1284, Blanche’s sons did not inherit their grandfather’s throne because Ferdinand’s younger brother, Sancho, usurped the throne and the tension placed Blanche’s sons in danger.

Blanche sent her sons to live with their grandmother, Violant of Aragon. Blanche left Castile and never returned.

Blanche died at a convent in Paris in 1323 and was buried there.

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