Parents: Alfonso VI, king of León and Castile, and Constance of Burgundy
Date of Birth: April 1079
Spouse: Raymond of Burgundy, then Alfonso I, king of Aragón and Navarre
Reign: 1109 – 1126
Predecessor: Alfonso VI
Summary: Unlike many other states, Spain has had its fair share of female monarchs. Urraca, though was one of its firsts and one of the earliest queens regnant in post-antiquity. Urraca was heiress to León and Castile from the time of her birth with only a brief interruption from 1107 until 1108 when her father, Alfonso VI, recognized her illegitimate brother, Sancho, as heir. At the age of eight, she was married to the Raymond of Burgundy, a Crusader and adventurer and the fourth son of the Burgundian duke. By the age of 13, Urraca was pregnant and, though her first birth was a miscarriage, her birth in 1105 produced Alfonso, her future heir. Raymond died in 1107 and she remarried in early 1109 Alfonso I, king of Aragón and Navarre just months after her father died leaving all of León and Castile to her.
Despite her father's death and her lack of desire to marry Alfonso, she did so anyway, thereby briefly unifying most of northern Spain together for the first time since the Visigoth era nearly 300 years earlier. Her marriage prompted rebellions in Galicia, the region north of Portugal, where her sister, Theresa, and brother-in-law, Count Henry of Portugal, were consolidating power. Within a year of their marriage, Alfonso and Urraca separated. This ended some of the opposition she had been facing. By 1111, full-blown warfare broke out between León and Aragón, culminating in the Battle of Candespina. A truce was negotiated in 1112 and their marriage was annulled two years later. The annulment came at a loss to Castile, half of which was occupied by Aragonese forces. Parts of the west, meanwhile, were occupied by Portugal. Yet the queen moved forward with her plans. She reclaimed most of her lost lands by the end of her reign and pushed further into the Muslim south of Hispania. Like her father, she claimed the title "Empress of All the Spains" and, to assert her authority over her sister, included the title "Empress of All Galicia" which included Portugal. She died in childbirth, having been impregnated by her lover, Pedro González de Lara, and was succeeded by her son, Alfonso VII, who continued in his mother's footsteps.
Date of Death: 8 March 1126
Successor: Alfonso VII
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