Peronella of Aragon

Founder of the Crown of Aragon with Ramon Berenguer IV

Peronella I of Aragon was Queen of Aragon, Countess of Ribagorça and Sobarb and Countess Consort of Barcelona was born in Huesca probably on June 29th 1136 and her marriage to Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona united the Kingdom of Aragon and the County of Barcelona, which together would become the Crown of Aragon.

Daughter of Ramir II of Aragon and Agnès of Peitieu, Peronella was conceived in order to give continuity to the Ximena Dynasty.

When Alfons the Battler died without descendants, a series of events brought Ramir II the Monk to the throne of the Kingdom of Aragon. Ramir was seen as a weak king and as soon as he came to the throne revolts began amongst the nobles.

Shortly after her birth, plans were made for her to marry the son of the King of Castille in the Treaty of Alagón of August 1136 but the treaty and the plan to unite the kingdoms of Aragon and Castille was rejected by the Aragonese nobles.

A year later, on August 11th 1137, it was agreed that the one-year-old Peronella would marry Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in the Matrimonial Chapters of Barbastre.

According to the agreement, the Count of Barcelona would take control of the Kingdom of Aragon from 1137, when Ramir would retire to pursue a contemplative life in the  monastery of Sant Pere el Vell in Huesca, ceding his powers to his daughter.

Ramir would retain the title of king but would hand over the property and power over the kingdom to Ramon Berenguer IV as "regni dominator Aragonenesis" and "princeps Aragonensis".

According the laws of Pamplona, Peronella could not exercise potestas (power) but was allowed to hold the honour and the dignity so was able to hold the title of Queen.

In August 1150, when Petronilla was fourteen, the betrothal was ratified at a wedding ceremony held in the city of Lleida

In 1152, shortly before the birth of her first son, Pere, who was to die in childhood, Peronella bequeathed the Kingdom of Aragon to her first male heir, stipulating that the kingdom would remain under the control of Ramon Berenguer IV.

In 1162, after the death of Ramon Berenguer IV, Peronella ceded all power over the Crown of Aragon to her second son Ramon, who was to rule as Alfons I of Barcelona and II of Aragon.

Peronella died on October 13th 1173 and her body lies in the Cathedral of Barcelona.


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