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Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290), Queen of Edward I and Countess of Ponthieu

Sitter in 2 portraits
Eleanor of Castile was the first queen consort of King Edward I. She was the daughter of King Ferdinand III of Castile and his wife, Joan of Ponthieu. In 1254 Eleanor was married to Lord Edward, son of England's King Henry III. In honour of the event, her half brother, Alfonso X of Castile, transferred to Edward his claims to Gascony. When Henry III's baronial opponents seized power in England in 1264, Eleanor was sent for safety to France; she returned in October 1265, after Edward had crushed the rebels. Eleanor accompanied Edward on a crusade from 1270 to 1273. Upon her death, Edward erected the famous Eleanor Crosses, several of which still stand, at each place where her coffin rested on its way to London.

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Eleanor of Castile

by Elkington & Co, cast by Domenico Brucciani, after William Torel
electrotype, 1873 (1291-1293)
On display in Medieval stairs: North Stairs at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 345

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