Spanish Royalty. Born at Toledo, the second daughter of Ferdinand II and Isabella I. She was said to have displayed remarkable intelligence as a child. In 1496, Juana married the archduke Philip the Handsome, son of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. The deaths of her only brother Juan, her eldest sister Queen Isabella of Portugal, and then of the latter's infant son Miguel, made Juana the heiress of the Spanish kingdoms, and in 1502 the cortes of Castile and of Aragon recognized her as their future sovereign. About 1503, Juana's sanity began to slip. In November 1504 her mother's death left her queen of Castile, but she was considered incapable of ruling. The duties of government were undertaken by her father, and then for a short time by her husband, who served as regents. In September 1506, when her husband died, Juana apparently became completely deranged, and it became almost impossible to separate her from his corpse. The remaining years of her life were spent confined at Tordesillas, where she died in 1555 at the age of 76. She had been at various times kept in prison by her husband and by her father for 10 years, and for 39 years by her son. Some have questioned whether her insanity was real, or whether she actually was imprisoned by the men in her life who wished to wield the power that rightfully was hers.
Bio by: Iola