This is the Portugese Romeo and Juliet story, played out by historic characters. Pedro the King’s son was to be married, arrangements were made. One of the ladies, part of the wedding group was Inez de Castro from Galicia, Spain. The story goes that it was love at first sight, Pedro was love struck by Inez. He married the intended and took Inez as his mistress. His wife had a son, and heir, although he was a sickly boy, and then the queen died. This freed Pedro to live with his mistress in Coimbra. The King was not happy with this arrangement and when Inez’s brothers appeared to be influencing Pedro the King felt something had to be done.
The King ordered Inez killed. While Pedro was on a hunting trip the King had Inez killed, she was beheaded, it is said in front of her children. Pedro when he discovered what had been done was infuriated. He was ready to start a war with his father for the throne.
The queen, Pedro’s mother intervened and stopped her son from starting a war. Within a couple of years Pedro became King. Once King, Pedro took his revenge. He had Inez’s assassins killed, the story goes, he tore out their hearts and ate them. He then had Inez removed from the grave and put at the head of a procession with the nobles obligated to follow and honor her and kiss her dress. Pedro insisted he was married to Inez and so her boys would be in line for King. The Pope didn’t approve of the wedding so it is said.
Pedro had a short rein but he is remembered with much love in Portugal. He commissioned the tomb, one for both he and Inez. Today they lay in state at the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria, in Alcobaca.