Petronilla of Aragon
|Charter by which Petronilla abdicated (18 July 1164) in favour of her son Alfonso II of Aragon.|
|Spouse||Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona|
|Peter of Aragon (heir of Aragon)
Alfonso II of Aragon
Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Provence
Dulce, Queen of Portugal
Sancho, Count of Provence
|House||House of Jiménez|
|Father||Ramiro II of Aragon|
|Mother||Agnes of Aquitaine|
29 June 1136|
|Died||15 October 1173
Petronilla (29 June 1136, in Huesca – 15 October 1173, in Barcelona),1 whose name is also spelled Petronila or Petronella (Aragonese: Peyronela or Payronella,2 Catalan: Peronella), was the daughter and successor of Ramiro II of Aragon by his queen, Agnes of Aquitaine. She was the Queen of Aragon from the abdication of her father in 1137 until her own abdication in 1164.
Petronilla came to the throne through special circumstances. Her father, Ramiro, was Bishop of Barbastro-Roda when his brother, Alfonso I, died without an heir in 1134, and left the crown to three religious military orders. The nobility of Aragon, however, raised Ramiro to the throne. As king, he received a papal dispensation to abdicate from his monastic vows in order to secure the succession to the throne. King Ramiro the Monk, as he is known, married Agnes, daughter of Duke William IX of Aquitaine and Gascony, and by her produced an heiress, Petronilla. When she was just a little over one year old, Petronilla was married in Barbastro on 11 August 1137 to Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona,3 who was 23 years her senior. Immediately thereafter, Ramiro abdicated in favour of Ramon Berenguer and Petronilla and returned to monastic life.
Petronilla consummated her marriage to Ramon Berenguer in 1151,3 when she reached the age of 15. The marriage produced five children: Peter (born 1152), Ramon Berenguer (1157), Peter (1158), Dulce (1160) and Sancho (1161). The elder Peter died in 1157 before the younger Peter was born.
Petronilla's husband served as the regent for his young nephew, Ramon Berenguer II the Count of Provence, from 1144-1157. While her husband was away in Provence from 1156–1157, Petronilla remained in Barcelona. Accounting records show her moving between there and Vilamajor and Sant Celoni while presiding over the court in Ramon Berenguer's absence.4
After her husband's death in 1162, Petronilla received the prosperous County of Besalú and the Vall de Ribes for life. Her eldest son was seven years old when, on 18 July 1164, Petronilla abdicated the throne of Aragon and passed it to him. When Ramon Berenguer inherited the throne from his mother, he changed his name to Alfonso out of deference to the Aragonese. The second son named Peter then changed his name to Ramon Berenguer.
Petronilla died in Barcelona in October 1173 and was buried at Barcelona Cathedral; her tomb has been lost. After her death, Besalú and Vall de Ribes reverted to the direct domain of the Count of Barcelona, her son Alfonso, who by 1174 had bestowed Besalú on his queen, Sancha.5
- Gran Enciclopedia Aragonesa
- Ana Isabel Lapeña Paúl (2008): "Apéndice III. Ramiro II en la Crónica de San Juan de la Peña". Ramiro II de Aragón: el rey monje (1134–1137). Gijón: Trea. p. 298. ISBN 978-84-9704-392-2
- Charles Cawley, Medieval Lands, Kings of Aragon
- T. N. Bisson, Fiscal Accounts of Catalonia under the Early Count-Kings (1151–1213) (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984), 50.
- Bisson, Fiscal Accounts, 179.
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- Bisson, Thomas N. The Medieval Crown of Aragon: A Short History. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000.
- Chaytor, Henry John. A History of Aragon and Catalonia. London: Methuan, 1933.
- Stalls, William C. "Queenship and the Royal Patrimony in Twelfth-Century Iberia: The Example of Petronilla of Aragon", Queens, Regents and Potentates, Women of Power, vol. 1 (Boydell & Brewer, 1995), 49–61.
Petronilla of AragonBorn: 29 June 1136 Died: 15 October 1173
|Queen of Aragon