Lost Kingdoms – Kingdom of Majorca

By HansenBCN - CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Kingdom of Majorca was created in 1231 following King James I of Aragon’s conquest in 1229 of the Balearic Islands from the Muslim rulers. He ruled it in conjunction with the Crown of Aragon. The first Queen consort of Majorca was James’s second wife Violant of Hungary whom he married in 1235. His son with his first wife, Eleanor of Castile, predeceased him. James and Violant went on to have ten children together. She probably died circa 1251 and James went on to contract a morganatic marriage. Upon James’s death in 1276, he was succeeded in Aragon by his eldest son who was now King Peter III. In Majorca, he was succeeded by his second son, who was now King James II.

In fact, James not only inherited Majorca, but also Ibiza, Formentera, Roussillon, Cerdanya, Montpellier, and the barony of Aumelàs, and the viscounty of Carladès. He also had a tribute from the fourth Balearic island of Menorca, but this remained under Muslim control throughout his reign. In 1275, he had married Esclaramunda of Foix, and they went on to have six children together. Upon James’s death in 1311, he was succeeded by his second son, now King Sancho I of Majorca. His eldest son had become a Franciscan friar before his father’s death. In 1308, Sancho had married Maria of Naples, but this marriage remained childless. Sancho died in 1324, and he willed Majorca to his nephew, who became King James III of Majorca. Maria remarried but ended up as a prisoner of the Aragonese King. She was released six years later following negotiations by her brother King Robert of Naples. She died in either 1346 or 1347.

The new King James III was just nine years old, and he was under the regency of his uncle Philip of Majorca. To keep the relationship with the Crown of Aragon friendly, James married Constance of Aragon, the daughter of Alfonso IV. Constance and James went on to have two children together. In 1342, James refused to give an oath of fealty to the new King Peter IV of Aragon. He was driven out of Majorca by King Peter, and the Balearic Islands were annexed to the Crown of Aragon. Constance died in 1346 and in 1347, he remarried to Violante of Vilaragut. Their only child died young. King James died on 25 October 1349 during the Battle of Llucmajor while trying to retake his Kingdom. He was succeeded nominally by his only son, who became King James IV of Majorca. The young King was taken prison by King Peter until he managed to escape in 1362. He took refuge with Queen Joanna I of Naples whom he married in 1363. They rarely saw each other and had no children together. He did not manage to retake his Kingdom, and his titles in pretence passed to his sister, now Queen Isabella.

Isabella would be the only Queen in her own right. Isabella had married John II Palaiologos, Marquess of Montferrat in 1358 and they went on to have five children together. She was widowed in 1372, and she secretly remarried in 1375 to Konrad of Reischach and Jungnau. The claim to the Kingdom of Majorca was abandoned in 1406.

The Kingdom of Majorca is part of Spain and France today. Following male-preference primogeniture, the claim would probably lie with Prince Guillaume Franz Josef Maria Windisch-Grätz, a descendant in the female line of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria.

About Moniek Bloks 2592 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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