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The majority of the following article contains the fictional portrayal of one or more historical figures. Details in this article may differ from real world facts. For more information on the historical figure(s), consult the links provided within or at the bottom of the article.

Isabel on the cover of Isabel: Jewel of Castilla

All of the characters that appear in Carolyn Meyer's Isabel: Jewel of Castilla. Some of these characters also appear in the film adaptation released in 2000.

Main characters[]


Main article: Isabel

Lisa Jakub as Isabel

Isabel of Castilla (April 22, 1451 – November 26, 1504)[1][2] was the daughter of Juan II and Isabel of Portugal. She had a younger brother Alfonso and an older half-brother Enrique, who succeeded her father's throne and forced Isabel to live in Segovia. After her younger brother's death, Isabel pledges her loyalty to Enrique in exchange for him naming her his heir. Isabel married Fernando of Aragon in 1469.

Supporting characters[]



Barna Moncz as Alfonso

Alfonso XII (November 17, 1453 – July 5, 1468)[2][3] was the son of King Juan with his second wife Isabel of Portugal. He was the younger brother of Isabel and half-brother of Enrique, who forced Alfonso and his sister to live in Segovia. At thirteen, Alfonso was declared king by certain factions, though support for him often fluctuated. He passed away on the way to Ávila, probably of the plague.

Beatríz de Bobadilla[]

Beatríz de Bobadilla y Cabrera[4] was the loyal friend of Isabel. She married Andrés de Cabrera in September 1466 and had a son named Rodrigo. Beatríz often brought news of Isabel's latest suitors, including Pedro Girón. She once pledged to stab him if he came near Isabel. Beatríz continued to aid Isabel and encouraged her marriage to Fernando. She was courageous, loyal, and outspoken.

Archbishop Carrillo[]


Arturo Fresolone as Carrillo

Archbishop Carrillo was Isabel's and Alfonso's protector. Isabel described him as "a towering figure with heavy features", leading her to nickname him El Toro ("the bull"). He supported Alfonso's ascension to the throne and helped persuade noblemen to side with them. Archbishop saved Isabel from her captivity in Segovia and took her to live with her mother in Arévalo. After Alfonso's death, he wanted Isabel to become Queen, and was against her treaty with Enrique. Isabel commented that he had been like a father to her, especially after she was betrayed by Enrique.

Catalina Valera[]


Cara Pifko as Catalina

Catalina Valera (died July 1468)[5] was Isabel's favorite lady-in-waiting. Her father was the Keeper of the Royal Treasury. She and her family were converso, Jews who had converted to Catholicism nearly a century before. Isabel described her as beautiful with "fine features and large brown eyes", despite one of her legs being shorter than the other. Catalina was also a talented artist, who drew and embroidered. She was in love with Alfonso. In July 1468, she fell ill on the same day as Alfonso and died a few days later.



Emmanuel Mark as Enrique

Enrique IV (1425 – December 11, 1474),[2][6] also known as El León ("the lion"), was the older half-brother of Isabel and Alfonso. He became king upon their father's death. Many of his subjects considered him incompetent and his rule was threatened by Alfonso. Enrique schemed several times to betroth Isabel to a wealthy or influential man. In 1468, Enrique signed a treaty with Isabel, after Alfonso's death. However, he went against his word and tried to force Isabel into marriage. Enrique died in 1474 and refused to name his heir.


Juana of Portugal (1439 – 1475)[2] was Enrique's wife and the mother of Juana la Beltraneja. Rumors circulated that the father of her daughter was actually Beltrán de la Cueva. Enrique exiled her to Segovia because of her vulgarity in dress and actions. Isabel described her as "vain and silly". Queen Juana later fled to Madrid, when Archbishop Carillo's forces invaded her castle in Segovia. She was eventually sent to live in Coca, where she fell in love with the Bishop Fonseca's nephew. Juana became pregnant and Enrique voided their marriage. She was outraged that Enrique had declared Isabel his heir and campaigned against her.

Minor characters[]

  • Doctor Abravanel was a Jewish doctor in Segovia, who treated Isabel when she feel ill in late April 1466.
  • King Afonso V of Portugal was the King of Portugal and brother of Queen Juana. Enrique tried to betroth Isabel to Afonso several times. Isabel found him repulsive and referred to him as El Escorpión ("the scorpion"). In later life, he married his niece Juana and declared war on Castilla.
  • Alicia was Archbishop Carrillo's niece. In Arévalo, she replaced Elvira as a lady-in-waiting to Isabel.
  • Ana was Isabel's forgetful maid, whom she often suspected of eavesdropping. Ana was talented at playing the cittern, which Isabel gave her lessons on. She was also illiterate.
  • Andrés de Cabrera was Beatríz's husband and an adviser to Enrique. He was also a converso.

Bathsheba Garnett as Clara

  • Beltrán de la Cueva was Enrique's friend and trusted adviser. Rumors claimed that he was father of Queen Juana's daughter.
  • Blanca, Elvira, Jimena, María, and Mencia, Isabel's ladies-in-waiting. They all annoyed Isabel in different ways and were the daughters of noblemen. Everyone, except Elvira, went with Isabel to Arévalo.
  • Clara was Isabel's Portuguese nurse and governess. She was loyal to Isabel and traveled everywhere with her. Clara was married to Gonzalo Chacón. She also took care of Isabel's mother.

Christopher Ralph as Fernando

  • Fernando II (March 10, 1452 – 1516)[2] was the husband of Isabel as well as the King of Sicily and Aragón. He also became King of Castilla and León, when his wife inherited the throne in 1475. He had five children with Isabel, including Isabel, Juan, Juana, Maria, and Catalina.
  • Gonzalo Chacón was the husband of Clara, Isabel's nursemaid. He supported Isabel's rise to the throne.
  • Guiterre de Cárdenas was the nephew of Gonzalo and husband of Leonora. He was also Isabel's ally.
  • Padre Guzmán was Isabel's confessor in Arévalo. He was the opposite of Padre Torquemada.
  • Isabel of Portugal (1428? – September 22, 1496)[2] was the mother of Isabel and Alfonso, and the wife of King Juan. After her husband's death, she moved to Arévalo and fell into a deep depression.
  • Juan de Vivero was the husband of María de Acuña. He lived in Valladolid.
  • King Juan of Aragón was the king of Aragon. He sent envoys to King Enrique to have Isabel engaged to his son Fernando, though later they become engaged without Enrique's permission
  • Juan II of Castilla (1405 – 1454)[2] was the king of Castilla. He married twice and had three children, including Enrique, Isabel, and Alfonso.

Ken Staines as Pacheco

  • Juan Pacheco, nicknamed El Zorro ("the fox") by Isabel, was Archbishop Carrillo's nephew. He switched sides to Enrique's side from Alfonso's and vice versa several times. Pacheco also pretended to side with Isabel, before switching to Enrique again.
  • Juana (February 18, 1462 – 1530),[2] nicknamed La Beltraneja, was the daughter of Queen Juana and King Enrique, though it was rumored that her father was actually Beltrán de la Cueva. She married her uncle Afonso of Portugal and fought to become queen of Castilla. Isabel sent her to a convent for the rest of her life and Juana always believed that she was "cheated out of her [...] inheritance."
  • Leonora was the wife of Guiterre. She was friends with Isabel, who though Leonora was similar to Beatríz.
  • María de Acuña was Archbishop Carrillo's niece and Juan de Vivero's wife.
  • Pedro Girón was a friend of Enrique. He was betrothed to Isabel in an attempt at uniting the kingdom. However, he suddenly died on his way to Madrid to negotiate the marrigae.
  • Pedro Pimentel (died July 5, 1467)[7] was one of Alfonso's knight. He died during a jousting accident, which effected Alfonso deeply. Pedro was from Valladolid.

Joey Pomanti as Peralta

  • Pierres de Peralta was King Juan's ambassador. He helped arrange Isabel's betrothal to Fernando.
  • Rodrigo (born April 16, 1468)[8] was the son of Beatríz and Andrés. He was named after El Cid.
  • Tomás de Torquemada was a priest as well as Isabel's confessor. He assigned Isabel to write in a journal as penance.

Epilogue characters[]

  • Catalina (1485 – 1536),[2] also known as Catherine of Aragon, was the fifth child of Isabel and Fernando. She was the first wife of Henry VIII of England.
  • Isabel (October 2, 1470 – 1498)[6][2] was Isabel's and Fernando's first child. She died during childbirth.
  • Juan (June 20, 1478 – 1497)[2] was Isabel's second child and only son. He passed away at nineteen.
  • Juana (1479 – 1555),[2] nicknamed Juana la Loca ("Joanna the Mad"), was the second daughter of Isabel. She "succumbed to madness".
  • Maria (1482 – 1517)[2] was Isabel's and Fernando's fourth child and third daughter.


See also[]

External links[]