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Blanca I of Navarre

The third daughter of King Carlos III and Leonor de Trastámara

Blanca I of Navarre (Pamplona, 1385- Segovia, 1441), belonging to the dynasty of Évreux, was queen consort of Sicily between 1401-1409, and queen of Navarre from 1425 until her death.

She was the third daughter of King Carlos III of Navarre, nicknamed “the Noble” and his wife Leonor de Trastámara.

In 1402 her marriage was arranged with Martin the Younger, King of Sicily and heir of the Crown of Aragon. In 1408, Blanca is named regent of the kingdom of Sicily, when her husband leaves on a military expedition to the kingdom of Sardinia, from where he will never return since he died in Cagliari in 1409. The death of her husband did not interrupt Blanca’s regency, as her husband stipulated in the will that she maintains her position.

However, the death without children of her older sister the Princess Juana of Navarra, countess of Foix and heiress of the kingdom, leaves her as the next in line to the throne of Navarre, so her father will ask her to return to his side. Finally, in 1415 Blanca left the kingdom of Sicily for good and returned to Navarre, where she was named heir to the kingdom.

In 1418, Blanca’s wedding was agreed with Juan de Aragón, brother of King Alfonso of Aragón. It was stipulated that the rights to the crown of Blanca of Navarre would pass to their son when she would die and if she would die before her husband without succession Don Juan should leave Navarre because “as a foreigner” did not expect the succession and inheritance of the kingdom.

In 1421 Blanca will give birth to her eldest son Carlos, who will receive the title of Prince of Viana. Blanca will have three more daughters. In 1425 Carlos III dies and Blanca becomes sovereign queen of Navarre, but the constant interference of her husband in Castile, his homeland and where he had an immense patrimony, delayed their coronation. In May 1429, Blanca I was finally crowned Queen of Navarre with her husband Juan II as king consort in the Cathedral of Pamplona.

Due to her role as mediator in her husband’s disputes with the Castilian nobles, Blanca will die in Castilian lands and be buried in Segovia against the desire expressed in her will to be buried in Navarre. In addition, in her testament she bequeathed the crown of Navarre to her son Carlos of Viana, but asked that he accede to the throne with the agreement of his father, which subsequently led to numerous disputes between father and son and interferences by Juan II in the Kingdom of Navarre.

Short bio of the volunteer:

My name is Jone, I am 28 years old and I am from a city of 200,000 inhabitants, called San Sebastián, in the Basque Country, in the north of Spain. Since 2012 I have lived in France, currently in the city of Bayonne, in the French Basque area. I studied Humanities and translation, and before starting my EVS I used to work as a Basque language teacher.


Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.

Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.

In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.

European Voluntary Service

Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.

We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.

Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.