Sancho VII Sánchez, called the Strong (el Fuerte in Spanish, Antso Azkarra in Basque) or the Prudent, was the King of Navarre from 1194 to his death. His retirement at the end of his life has given rise to the alternate nickname el Encerrado or "the Retired."
The historian and forensic anthropologist, Luis del Campo, who studied his mortal remains, affirms that he was 2.23 metres (7.3 feet) in height.
He was probably the eldest child of Sancho VI and Sancha, daughter of Alfonso VII of León, born soon after their marriage, probably in Tudela, their usual residence. He was the elder brother of Berengaria, who was married to Richard the Lionheart, King of England in 1191 on the island of Cyprus on the way to the Holy Land for the Third Crusade. Sancho and Richard were reputed to have been good friends and close allies, even before the marriage brought them together. The French took advantage of Richard's captivity in Germany and captured certain key fortresses of the Angevin dominions including Loches. When Richard returned to his continental lands in 1194, the knights of Sancho were besieging the castle for him. As soon as Richard arrived though, Sancho was forced to return to Navarre at the news of the death of his father. He was crowned in Pamplona on 15 August.