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November 13, 2021 25 mins

When Prince Pedro of Portugal was married off in the 1300s, he only had eyes for his new wife's lady in waiting. This 2017 episode about the relationship between Inês and Pedro has everything: romance, deception, murder, and a corpse crowned as queen.

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Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:02):
Happy Saturday. One of the TV shows I have enjoyed
watching on TV is Supergirl, which has just ended its run,
and in one of the last episodes, I saw something familiar,
and that was the tomb of Innesta Castro, which is
an Alcabasa Portugal. When I saw this on the screen,
I was like, hey, wait, didn't we do a podcast
on this? Yes, in fact, we did, so I thought

we would share it for anybody who watch a Supergirl
and would like some historical backstory. And if you don't
watch Supergirl, of course, it is an interesting episode on
its own. You don't have to be into Supergirl to
appreciate it. And this episode originally came out on January
and was a little bit of an early Valentine's Day episode,
So enjoy Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class,

a production of I Heart Radio, Hello, and Welcome to
the Punk Gusty and I'm Tracy Wilson. Tracy. Valentine's Day
is coming up. I know it's um not a holiday

I usually have like the standard associations with It's always
more of like a friends and family holiday to me.
But people sometimes like some themed stuff, so I didn't
want to be too on the nose, where a little
ahead of Valentine's Day. Uh, you know, various romantic topics
have been suggested, but I don't always like to be
literal and happy because I'm just contrary. Um. And a

lot of the stories that we have done around Valentine's
Day have been relatively tragic in their love story nous,
I'm thinking Abillard and Hellouise. Yeah. Uh. And thankfully our
listener Tressa wrote in with an idea that I loved.
And while this one can definitely be categorized as romantic,

there's also some deception. There's some cheating, a little bit
of murder, a little bit of gore for those of
us in the crowd who like darker fare. We're talking
today about the person who is sometimes referred to as
the corpse Bread of Portugal and as de Castro, and
the story of her love affair with Prince Pedro, who
later became Padrew the first puts Romeo and Juliet to

shame in the intensity and tragedy categories, and it has
in fact been rumored that these two fourteenth century lovers
were the inspiration for Shakespeare's tale, and this is one
of those stories that also has a lot of versions
of it because it's been told and retold for centuries.
It is uh such a good story in terms of

like it has all of the ingredients you would want
in a good and engaging story. Uh. That it is,
you know, a big part of Portugal's history and their
oral tradition. Uh. And that means that some of the
details have shifted and changed in various tellings. Some details
are probably fabricated. And we're gonna talk a little bit
about the mythology that this has taken on and some
of the more glaring cases of artistic license that happened

related to their story a little later in the podcast.
But first we'll give you the basic story, and that
story starts out with Pedro, sometimes known as Peter, who
would become Pedro, the first King of Portugal on April eighth,
thirteen twenty. The king of Portugal at that time a
Fonso the Fourth and his consort Beatrice of Castile had

a son, and that son with Pedro, we don't know
a lot about his childhood. There's not many details about
him as a young boy, but we know that in
thirteen thirty nine or thirteen forty, right, around the age
of nineteen or twenty, Pedro married Constanza of Castile, but
Pedro found Constanza's lady in waiting and As de Castro
far more appealing, and As was actually a cousin of Constanza,

and Pedro was utterly entranced by her. There is one
history where it says that he was taken in completely
by her heron like nick. So she was a very elegant,
lovely lady, and she was the great granddaughter of King
Sancho the fourth of Castile, though her father had been
an illegitimate grandson of Sancho the fourth. Inez Perez de

Castro was born sometime in the early thirteen twenties and
her father was Pedro Bernandez de Castro. That's the illegitimate
grandson of King Sancho the fourth. We just mentioned. She
had traveled to Portugal to become Constanza's lady in waiting,
and Pedro and Constanza were married as planned, but he
was clearly not devoted to his new bride but to

her cousin, and he was apparently madly in love with
an Is. This wasn't just like an infatuation, or if
it was, it was a very deep one. He just
was completely enthralled by her, and he said to have
sent her messages by dropping his letters to her in
a water pipe that flowed from his residence to her
quarters at the monastery of Santa Clara Avella. As you

can imagine, Pedro's new wife was displeased at this insulting
behavior on her husband's part, and so when she and
Pedro had their first child, a son, also named Pedro,
Constanza invited Eniz to be the child's godmother. So that
seems like a really nice gesture, it wasn't. Constanza's motivation

was this. She was counting on the fact that, in
the eyes of the Catholic Church and as becoming the
baby Pedro's godmother would make her considered a close family
and so the idea was that with that connection established,
Constanza was hoping to spin the relationship between her husband
and her cousin as having a patina of incestuousness. So

it wasn't enough that it was infidelity, right, it had
the added ammunition of also being incestuous. But that plan
did not seem to have any real impact on the
situation at all, regardless of how anyone else felt about them.
The lovers, Pedro and Enez were just devoted to one

another as much as they had been before. And additionally,
co Steins's baby wound up living sadly only a few weeks,
so the idea that Inez was family through her godmother
position lost all impact. In thirteen forty four, the King,
who was troubled by all of this drama in the
Pedro Constanza and his love triangle, and concerned for both

the peace of the royal household and the impact that
this affair could have on the regency, banished and As
from Portugal and she was sent back to Castile. But
that did not put an end to the affair either.
Pedro just traveled to seen As whenever he possibly could.
On November thirty five, Constanza died. She had given birth

to her third child with Pedro at that point, a
son named Fernando that was two weeks before her death,
and the baby survived and became next in line to
the throne after his father. Yeah, you'll often see that
written up as though she died in childbirth, which isn't
entirely correct. She was very ill and it, you know,
was that the stress on her body that eventually led

to her demise, but it was actually a couple of
weeks later. So immediately after Constanza's death, Pedro took advantage
of his unfettered single status and went straight to Castile
to get in his and bring her back to Portugal.
And from that point on they maintained a home in Coimbra,
which I probably butchered in my apologies. Uh. And while

they lived there, they lived as husband and wife. Once
they were no longer conducting an affair in secret, which
we are putting in finger quotes because everybody knew about
this secret even though it was supposedly clandestine, Inez and
Pedro started a family. They eventually had four children, a Fonso, Beatrice, Jooo,

and Denise Alfonso. Their first son died when he was
still a baby, and the other three were born over
the span of seven years from thirteen forty seven to
thirteen fifty four. So if things played out merely as
at this point the fulfilled love story of Pedro and
and is that we have right at this point in
the telling, it might have been a more or less

happily ever after situation. Pedro and Az at this point
are finally together, they have children that they love, They're
living as a family and everything seems great. But as
the two of them were expanding their family, and as
his brothers Alvaro and Fernando were bending Pedro's ear about
a plan they had hatched. The Castor brothers allegedly wanted

their sister's beloved Prince Pedro of Portugal to take advantage
of the weak situation of his cousin, Pedro of Castile,
who was inheritor to the throne of Castile. So yes,
to make things a little confusing, especially in an audio format,
there were two Pedros at this point. Yeah, there were
actually multiple Pedro's ruling Europe in the very short period

of time. So it gets really confusing when you're reading,
uh any any of the histories, you kind of have
to highlight and color code them. And as you may recall,
Pedro of Portugal was the grandson of King Sancho the
fourth of Castile, so he did have a lineage connection
to the Castile throne on his mother's side, uh And
he was kind of being convinced Bianeza's brothers that making

a claim for the throne was a good idea, but
his father, King Afonso the fourth, was really not enthused
with this whole drama. I feel like King Afonso is
constantly going wise, They're always drama around Pedro and his uh.
He was concerned that, thanks to the bad influence of
the Castros, his entire kingdom was going to be in peril,
and there was some legitimate concern there it was not

in Portugal's interest to get involved in Castile's squabbles over
the line of succession. Also, Afonso was worried that Ineza's
scheming brothers would try to insert their sister's children with
Pedro of Portugal and to Portugal's line for the throne,
which would almost certainly lead to a civil war. Prince
Pedro's son, Ferdinand, who he had had with Constanza, was

next in line for the throne, and King Afonso wanted
to ensure that transition. And there was also some concern
that Ferdinand, who was a rather frail child, could be
an easy target for someone with designs on the Portuguese throne.
So there was certainly a valid, uh you know, interest
in stamping out any potential um uprisings. And to top

all of those concerns off, King Afonso the Fourth would
have really liked to make another political alliance by marrying
his widowed son to an eligible and well placed royal
from another family. But Pedro had no interest in any
other woman but in his so next we will talk
about how Pedro's father dealt with this problem, but first
we will pause for a word from one of our sponsors.

So Afonso, to deal with this issue, consulted with his
most trusted advisers, and they suggested a course of action
that would put an end to the problem instantly and permanently.
And by the nature of those words, you have probably
guessed that the solution that they put forth was to
get rid of an Az entirely. And the king weighed
this possibility in his mind, but he was really having

difficulty making the decision to have and As killed. However,
on January seven, five, Nas was murdered. I'll find to
the fourth had known of this plot to kill her,
and he had in fact been involved with it, But
he had continued to be torn between his desire to
do what he thought was best for the country and

the family line, and his very real feelings for these
children that in As and his son had had together.
He was their grandfather, and and As allegedly begged the
king for her life when he and his men arrived
at her home with her children right there with her,
and he, unable to fully commit one way or the other,

turned and left, telling his men to do whatever they wanted,
and apparently what they want to do was murder in Z.
So they stabbed her to death, and she was buried
in the monastery at Santa Clara. It's also possible that
Pedro had learned about this plot himself, and encyclopedia, written
in eighteen thirty six switched to be fair as much
later claimed that the Queen had gotten wind of this

treachery and warned her son, but that Pedro dismissed the
information as propaganda that was just intended to frighten him
away from me. Nice Prince Pedro was, of course i
rate at the loss of his love and z and
this murder catalyzed a rebellion against the king, with Pedro
at the lead, and as his brothers joined him in
this revolt, and over the course of several months, the

bereaved and irate Pedro and his men waged a war
against Pedro's father, a fonse of the force. In the end,
Queen Beatrice had to get involved As the wife of
a Fonder the fourth and the mother of Prince Pedro,
she was able to broke her a piece between the
two men, father and son forgave each other at least

ston word and Pedro pardoned the men who had murdered Eniz,
and things settled down in the royal family for the
next two years. But then Afonso the Fourth died, leaving
Pedro as his successor to the throne. Pedro the First
of Portugal was crowned in thirteen fifty seven, becoming the
eighth King of Portugal, and almost immediately after assuming his

role as monarch, Pedro made it plain that while he
claimed to have forgiven it as his death, he was
still very angry. The men who had been part of
the murder plot had all fled Portugal even after Pedro
and Alfonso had made their truth, and Pedro wanted them
brought back to face justice. He was able to negotiate

for the return of the two of the men, Pedro
Coelo and Alvarez Gonsalves, who had fled to Castile in
exchange for other fugitives that country wanted from Portugal. Portugal
the third man had fled to Aragon and the Portuguese
king was not able to secure his return. The two
men that were returned to Pedro the First face torture

for what they had done, and then they were put
to death in a gruesome execution parallelling what King Pedro
the First felt when Anez was killed. The men had
their hearts cut out, one had his pulled out through
his back, the other through his chest, and King Pedro
is said to have witnessed the executions as his servants
brought him his dinner. Pedro the First calculated move to

wait until he came to power and then exact his
revenge earned him the nickname Pedro the Cruel. It's also
worth noting that there were three men named Pedro ruling
in the area at the time, when over Castile, one
over Aragon, and then Pedro the First of Portugal, when
all of them have been given the name Pedro the

Cruel in various writings. As we said, especially confusing in
an audio format, Pedro the First of Portugal is also
referred to as Pedro the Jest. Yeah, just to further
confuse things, there is also a Pedro the First of
Brazil that sometimes when you do a search, you will

realize that other historians have conflated the two of them
a little bit. So there's a lot of untangling and
like sort of thread combing you have to do to
figure out what, when and where people are referring to
which Pedro. But the executions of Ineza's killers did not
bring King Pedro the First any sort of peace. Several

years after his reign began, Pedro announced on June twelfth,
thirteen sixty that, in fact he and he and Anez
had been secretly married two years after Constanza had died.
Two men, a bishop and that bishop's attendant, were named
as having witnessed the wedding, and while no specific date
of the nuptials could be recalled by any of the men,

this announcement was backed up by a papal document indicating
that Pedro had gotten consent to remarry from the Pope,
and that papal document was publicly displayed as proof and
validation of the marriage to Anz. This declaration had an
important impact. First, it made Anez de Castro Queen of Portugal,
although posthumously, and second it also legitimized their three surviving

children and opened up futures for them that otherwise would
have just been unthinkable. But this also meant that as
Queen Inez was entitled to a much grander final resting
place than she had initially been given, So she was,
at Pedro's request, exhumed from the Santa Clara monastery and
moved to the Tomb of Kings, where she was reinterred
in a tomb on April two of thirteen sixty one.

Her final burial ceremony was extravagant and regal in every way.
Her body was escorted from Santa Clara and Coimbra to
the monastery of Alcobasa by a full parade of maids, noblemen, clergy,
and horses, with a reported thousand men carrying candles to
ensure that there was always light on her. One historian

who wrote about these events in the eighteen nineties described
the processional as being led by two lines of stars.
Just such a beautiful image, and as de Castro's tomb,
which still exists, and we'll talk about this some more,
is quite a thing to behold. It is an intricately
carved white marble work of art. It depicts and as

lying atop it protected by angels, while scenes of the
New Testament are carved into the sides, and the entire
tomb sits atop six figures which bear the weight, which
have human faces but animal bodies, and the sculpture of
a naz wears beautiful robes in the crown of a queen.
But the artist or artists involved who created this example

of Gothic funerary sculpture remain unknown. Pedro lived another six
years after Inez was laid to rest again for the
second time. He was assassinated in thirteen sixty seven and
was then seeded by his son Ferdinand. The first Pedro's tomb,
which was placed next to his beloved is also lavishly

carved of marble. The sides on his feature scenes from St.
Bartholomew's life and legan Is. Pedro has represented atop the
tomb with angels surrounding him. The sides of the tomb
feature scenes from St. Bartholomew's life and ligan As. Pedro
has represented atop the tomb with angels surrounding him. He
is wearing a crown and in his left hand is

his sword, and there is also a dog at his feet.
There are many other details to it. It's really quite beautiful.
His tomb also sits on six stone figures like Inness,
but his figures are lions, and it also features the
crest of Portugal. Next up, we will talk a little
about the mythology of Pedro in a NEETs, but first
we will take another quick break for a word from

one of our awesome sponsors. As Holly mentioned at the
top of the show, this is one of the historical
stories that, both because of its age and it's very
romantic and pretty dramatic nature, has been blurred by retellings
over the centuries. For example, while Inis was most likely

killed at Santa Clara of Veja, where she and Pedro
had been living with their children, the story is often
told that she died in a completely different location, Quinta
dust Lagrimas, which translates into a state of tears. According
to myth, her blood still stains the stones there, and
there are some tales that she haunts the place. Yeah,

and while many versions of the story uh indicate that
and As was stabbed when she was killed, some say
she was decapitated, and to make things extra gruesome, that
this happened while at least one and possibly all of
her children looked on. And this is contradictory to some
of the other mythology that we're going to talk about
in just a moment. Additionally, while Pedro the First of

Portugal had the nickname of Pedro the Cruel, he really
seemed like a kind monarch when it came to his people.
He cut spending on the part of the nobility to
ease the burden on the more common people. He also
reformed the Portuguese justice system and instituted the beneplacidal reggio,
which was a means by which any decree, act or

document of the church had to be approved by the
monarchy before it could be released publicly, and this is
possibly also why he was known as Pedro the Just.
The people he reigned over saw him as benevolent, while
the nobility may have called him cruel more because of
the cutbacks that he forced on him rather than necessarily
his vengeance plot. He is also sometimes characterized as being

called just because of his affinity for seeking justice, and
even to the degree that at times the execution of
Aneza's murderers is described as having been carried out by
Pedro himself, including tearing the men's hearts out with his
bare hands. Another area where this mythology of star cross
lovers takes on some fantastic claims is in the various

descriptions of Inness's royal burial after her exhimation, and some
versions of the story Pedro placed his deceased beloved on
a throne before her in hum placed a crown on
her head, and then kissed her hand, and then made
the entire court pledge their loyalty to the queen and
also kiss her hand in turn. Some versions say they

had to kiss the hem of her gown. Okay, so
if you think about this for just a moment, the
math involved makes this super gruesome. There were six years
between Enness's murder and her exhimation, so if any of
this putting on the throne, kissing the hand did happen,
it is a marvel that the entire court would not
have fainted in horror. It takes I think on average,

I'm I'm completely pulling this out of air. So if
I'm incorrect, know that it's not verified information. Something like
eight to twelve years for a not embalmed body to decompose,
so you can imagine what state she might have been
in after six years. Additionally, if she had been beheaded,
this whole affair would have been even stranger, and there
doesn't seem to be any mention of a head Listen

as ever, having been put on the throne in her
deceased state. One of the important things to consider when
turning over the various accounts of Pedro and in AZ's
love story is the fact that they were all written
quite some time after the fact. I mean, this was
a fourteenth century story, and a lot of the accounts

that we talked about were from the nineteenth century. A
great deal of the chronicling of Portuguese history that was
done by writers officially entrusted with the task by the
crown would have wanted to legitimize and honor the lineage
of the royal family they were serving at the time
they were writing it. Yeah, the earliest ones are in

I think the late fourteen hundreds and it goes on
from there. So any any given regent that was asking
a writer to write down the chronicles may have wanted
to position things in one way or another, but they
were always to make that regent look the best. So uh,
that's the scoop. Uh. There have been many, many, many

fictionalized versions of the pedro in and his love story.
Over the centuries, that pair has been the subject of
poems and novels, and paintings and sculptures, operas and ballets.
Just about any creative medium that you can think of
has been used to convey the romance and tragedy of
this piece of Portuguese history. And as we mentioned at
the very beginning of the show, it's possible that their

story was actually the inspiration for Romeo and Juliet. The
monastery at Alcabasa, where the lovers were entombed, is now
a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gets situated in central Portugal,
north of Lisbon, and dates to the twelfth century. It
was founded by King Alfonso the First and is closely
related to the beginnings of the Portuguese monarchy. Yeah, there's

some beautiful pictures on the UNESCO site of this monastery
and then h in eighteen ten Tina leven, some of
the sculptural details of those beautifully carved tombs were damaged
by Napoleon's troops. The looting and apparent beating of these
pieces of art that was done by the French at
the time has left some of the delicate work permanently spoiled,

Pedro and Andez do remain there in their tombs, although
they are no longer placed side by side. They had
to be moved apart a bit to make room for
the many visitors who often come to see the doomed
lovers happy Valent. It's a good story though. It really
is a compelling one and very interesting even when you

strip it down to the bare bones. Uh, there's a
lot of intrigue there. Yeah, it's good stuff. Hey, so
much for joining us on this Saturday. Since this episode
is out of the archive, if you heard an email
address or a Facebook U r L or something similar

over the course of the show, that could be obsolete now.
Our current email address is History Podcast at i heart
radio dot com. Our old how stuff Works email address
no longer works, and you can find us all over
social media at missed in History and you can subscribe
to our show on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, the I

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Holly Frey

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