Biography of Queen of Portugal Felipa de Lancaster (1359-1415)

Queen of Portugal born in England in 1359 and died 18 July 1415 in Portugal. Daughter Juan of Ghent, the Duke of Lancaster and Blanche of Lancaster. Philippa was therefore sister of Henry IV of England.

In 1388 Felipa married the Portuguese King Juan I, which was in need of strong military allies due to the war that had been holding with Juan I of Castile as a result of the succession to the Portuguese throne. The marriage of Philippa and Juan I was the support of the powerful Duke of Lancaster to the cause of the Portuguese monarch, and above all, the support of the English Crown through the brother of Philippa, King Enrique IV.

Philippa of Lancaster had her marriage with Juan I a total of six sons and two daughters, who came to adulthood: Duarte I, successor of Juan I on the throne of Portugal; Pedro, who was Duke of Coimbra; Henry, Duke of Viseu, better known as Henry the Navigator; Fernando of Portugal, the constant Prince; and Isabel, who contracted marriage with the Duke of Burgundy, Felipe the good.

Once finished the war between Juan I of Portugal and Juan I of Castile, with the triumph of the Portuguese monarch, Felipa of Lancaster pressed and managed to convince her husband of the advantage that would expand the domains of the monarchy by the North of Morocco. This policy had several objectives, on the one hand was for a head of bridge against Islam, while seeking to attract the attention of rebellious Portuguese nobility to a foreign conflict that distract it from rebel adventures at the internal borders of the Kingdom; Finally, North Africa was a rich territory due to the control that is exerted on the trade routes between East and West from there. Therefore, Felipa of Lancaster, probably influenced by his son, Enrique, the Navigator, persuaded Juan I, which made his son available an important squad with which it conquered Ceuta in 1415, which meant the beginning of the expansion of the Portuguese maritime Empire.

Despite the important role that Felipa played in the expedition, could not see the same success since he/she died while still preparations were underway.