Berengaria came from distinguished stock, her mother, Sancha’s parents were: Alfonso VII of León and Castille = Berengaria of Barcelona.
Her father, Sancho VI of Navarra, was known as, ‘The wise,’ and presided over a cultured and enlightened court in Pamplona. The royal pair had several children and all were treated equally when it came to education, boys and girls receiving the best.
Berengaria was born in c1165, the first girl, but her life changed only fourteen years later, in 1179, when her mother died prematurely.
In an age when princesses were a crown asset, it would not have been seen amiss if Berengaria were to follow that path and make a marriage suitable in pursuit of the defence of the realm, a position many a bride found herself settled into.
Instead, the wisdom of Sancho the Wise showed its worth when the personable, educated, and beautiful maiden was able to step into the shoes of her mother as Princess Regent to King Sancha. A move which maintained stability within the kingdom and saved her father the bother of looking around for a new queen.
But what of Berengaria’s emotions, can it be true that a chance meeting at a joust years earlier when she was but a teenager mean that she still carried a torch for Richard?
Was there not a queue of prince bachelors treading a path to her door?
Or were there other passions, as yet unexplored by the twenty five year old, waiting for release?