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Catherine of Austria (1507–1578)

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Title: Catherine of Austria (1507–1578)  
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Subject: Joanna of Castile, Constantino of Braganza
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Catherine of Austria (1507–1578)

Catherine of Austria
Catherine of Portugal; Anthonis Mor, 1552.
Queen Consort of Portugal
Tenure 10 February 1525 – 11 June 1557
Spouse John III of Portugal
Maria Manuela, Princess of Portugal and Asturias
Philip, Prince of Portugal
Manuel, Prince of Portugal
John Manuel, Prince of Portugal
Afonso, Prince of Portugal
House House of Habsburg (by birth)
House of Aviz (by marriage)
Father Philip I of Castile
Mother Joanna of Castile
Born 14 January 1507
Torquemada, Spain
Died 12 February 1578 (aged 71)
Lisbon, Portugal
Religion Roman Catholicism

Catherine of Austria, also called Catherine of Castile or Catherine of Burgundy (14 January 1507 – 12 February 1578) was Queen of Portugal as wife of King John III, and regent during the minority of her grandson, King Sebastian, from 1557 until 1562.

Early life

An Infanta of Castile and Archduchess of Austria, Catherine was the posthumous daughter of King Philip I by Queen Joanna of Castile[1] She was born in Torquemada and named in honor of her maternal aunt, Catherine of Aragon. She remained with her mentally ill mother until eldest siblings, Eleanor and the future Emperor Charles V, arrived to Spain from Flanders.

All of her five older siblings, except Ferdinand, were born in the Low Countries and had been put into the care of their aunt Margaret of Austria, but Joanna kept hold of her young daughter Catherine. Catherine actually stayed with her mother during imprisonment at Tordesillas during her grandfather Ferdinand of Aragon's time as regent. When it came time for her to marry, Catherine was of course freed from the captivity that her mother was to suffer until her death.


On 10 February 1525, Catherine married her first cousin, King John III of Portugal. They had nine children, but only two survived early childhood.

After the death of her husband in 1557, she was challenged by her daughter-in-law and niece, Joan of Austria, over the role of regent for her grandchild, the infant King Sebastian. Mediation by Charles V resolved the issue in favour of his sister Catherine over his daughter Joan, who was needed in Spain in the absence of Philip II.

She then served as the regent of Portugal from 1557 until 1562. In 1562, she turned over the regency to Henry of Portugal.


Name Birth Death Notes
With John III, King of Portugal (married 10 February 1525)
Prince Afonso 24 February 1526 March 1526 Prince of Portugal (1526).
Princess Maria 15 October 1527 12 August 1545 Princess of Portugal (1527–1531; 1537). First wife of King Philip II of Spain. She had one child, Don Carlos, and she died a few days after his birth.
Infanta Isabella 28 April 1529 28 April 1529  
Infanta Beatrice 15 February 1530 15 February 1530  
Prince Manuel 1 November 1531 14 April 1537 Prince of Portugal (1531–1537). Declared heir in 1535.
Prince Philip 25 March 1533 29 April 1539 Prince of Portugal (1537–1539). Declared heir in 1537.
Infante Denis 6 April 1535 1 January 1537  
Prince John Manuel 3 June 1537 2 January 1554 Prince of Portugal (1537–1554). Declared heir in 1539. Married Joan of Spain.
Their son Sebastian became king.
Infante Anthony 9 March 1539 20 January 1540  

Catherine has no descendants today, as both her grandchildren died childless. Her line of descent went extinct within six months of her death, as the only descendant of hers that survived her, King Sebastian of Portugal, died in August 1578.



This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the español World Heritage Encyclopedia.

External links

Preceded by
Eleanor of Austria
Queen consort of Portugal
10 February 1525 – 11 June 1557
Succeeded by
Anna of Austria

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