The Name of … Leonor

Birthdays Events

On Monday 31 October 2005 at 1.46am a Princess was born by C-section at the Clínica Ruber Internacional de Madrid, after a pregnancy of 37 weeks. She was 47 cm tall and weighed 3,540 grams. The then Prince of Asturias, Felipe, and his wife Letizia named their firstborn child Leonor. Although the name has an historical meaning, it was also a name they both liked.

© Casa de S.M. el Rey / Francisco Gómez

The meaning of the name Leonor

The name Leonor comes from Leo or Lion. Leonor, also Eleanor or Alienor is Greek for bright, shining one.

Once a very popular name, the name dropped in popularity in the 20th century. Curiously several princesses and royal descendants were given a variation of this name – like Leonore and Eléonore – in more recent years.

The name Leonor in Spanish royal history

The name Leonor was frequently used in the royal families of Castile, Aragon and Navarre. The name however seems to have disappeared from the Spanish royal genealogy in the 16th century, already before the Bourbons took over the throne. Until the present Leonor was born.

  • Princess Eleanor of England (1161/62-1214), wife of King Alfonso VIII of Castile. She is said to have brought the name to Spain.
  • Princess Leonor of Castile (1202-1244), wife of King Jaime I of Aragon.
  • Princess Leonor of Castile (1244/45-1290), wife of King Edward I of England.
  • Princess Eleanor of England (1264-1297), wife of King Alfonso III of Aragon and Sicily.
  • Princess Leonor of Castile and Leon (1307-1359), wife of Prince Jaime of Aragon, secondly of King Alfonso IV of Aragon.
  • Princess Leonora of Sicily (1325-1374/75), third wife of King Pedro IV of Aragon.
  • Princess Leonor of Portugal (1328-1348), second wife of King Pedro IV of Aragon.
  • Leonor de Gandia, titular Queen of Jerusalem, Regent of Cyprus (1333-1416), wife of King Peter I of Cyprus. She was from the royal family of Aragon.
  • Princess Leonor of Aragon (1358-1382), wife of King Juan I of Castile.
  • Leonor Urraca de Albuquerque (1374-1435), of the royal family of Castile, wife of King Fernando I of Aragon.
  • Princess Leonor of Castile and Leon (1352/1363-1415/16), wife of King Carlos III of Navarre.
  • Princess Leonor of Aragon (1400/02-1445), wife of King Duarte I of Portugal.
  • Queen Leonor I of Navarre (1425-1479), regent for quite a few years, but died weeks after becoming queen in 1479. Wife of Gaston IV count of Foix and Bigorre.
  • Princess Leonor of Castile (1498-1558), wife of King Manuel I of Portugal, secondly of King François I of France. She was the sister of the first King of a united Spain, Carlos I (1500-1558).

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