Sibila of Fortià (died 1406), Queen of Aragon, was daughter of Berenguer de Fortià and his wife Francesca of Palau. Sibila belonged to the lineage of Fortià, the lower nobility, with possessions in the rural Empordà, in the county of Ampurias. She was the fourth wife of Peter IV of Aragon.
Sibila was said to be a natural beauty in her early adulthood. She married her first husband, Artal de Foces on an unknown date. Upon her widowhood, Sibila became a lady in waiting to Peter's third queen, Eleanor of Sicily, during the royal couple's stay in Sibila's home of Empordà. Eleanor died in 1375; she had left Peter two surviving sons and one daughter.
Sibila attracted the attention of the king, soon after Eleanor's death. Sibila was in her twenties and Peter was fifty six. The king's sons, Martin of Aragon and John of Aragon soon found out what was happening. They were opposed the idea of their father marrying Sibila; the marriage could cause dynastic problems that could imperil their rights in the line of succession. Indeed, the announcement of the marriage of the lovers lead to some tense relations between the king and his sons.
Second marriage: Queen of Aragon
On 11 October 1377, in Barcelona, Sibila married Peter IV of Aragon, thus becoming the fourth wife of the sovereign Aragon. She was the fourth wife of Peter, his previous wives were: Maria of Navarre, Eleanor of Portugal and Eleanor of Sicily. It's believed that before the marriage, Sibila gave birth to a son, Alfonso, who only lived for a year. The child's birth has been doubted and some do not believe in the child's existence, the only evidence of his existence is in the Chronicle of Peter IV of Aragon.
The couple had three children:
- Alfonso of Aragon (1376 – 1377), Count of Morella.
- Peter of Aragon (born and died April 1379).
- Isabella of Aragon (1380–1424), married James II of Urgell and was mother of Isabella of Aragon, Countess of Urgell. Through Isabella, Peter and Sibila are ancestors to Joana, Princess of Portugal and John II of Portugal.
Over time, things grew worse. Sibila's family were invited to court, the king became friends with Sibila's brother, Bernard. Peter, Sibila and her family made up one half of the court, the other half of the court was made up of Peter's son and heir, John, his infamous French wife Violante de Bar and their followers.
Peter died in 1387 and so John and Violant became King and Queen of Aragon. They wanted rid of Sibila. For her own safety, Sibila fled to Sant Martí Sarroca; her stepdaughter, Eleanor of Aragon had lived there before her death. However, Sibila did not live there for long, she was forced to go back to Aragon, on the command of John and Violant.
They however did not execute Sibila, she was sent to live in Barcelona, but under close surveillance. She was however treated better in Barcelona than at the royal court. John died in 1396, and Martin succeeded him. Sibila remained in Barcelona.
Death and burial
Sibila died in Barcelona on 24 November 1406. By order of King Martin she had a state funeral. She was buried in the convent of San Francisco (Framenors) in Barcelona, traditional burial place of kings and queens of Aragon. She was later transferred to the pantheon of Poblet.
When the convent was demolished, in the nineteenth century, Sibila and others were buried on 20 April 1852, at the Cathedral of Barcelona. She was the first deposited in a box embedded in the wall of the chapel of the Martyrs of the cloister, covered by Isabella II of Spain and on 13 October 1998, moved inside the temple, in a box placed on the wall to the left of the altar major.