Catherine of Aragon - Wikipedia
Catherine (also Katherine) of Aragon was a Spanish princess, the first wife of Henry VIII and mother of Mary I. Henry's desire to annul his marriage to as he was afraid of angering Catherine's nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. Catherine of Aragon's marriage to Henry VIII was, for some years, satisfactory The Princess Mary, at age 5, was betrothed to Charles in Catherine of Aragon was Queen of England from June until May as the first wife of King Henry VIII; she was previously Princess of Wales as the wife of Henry's elder brother Arthur. The daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, Catherine was three years old when she was betrothed to Arthur, . Catherine testified that her marriage to Arthur was never.
But now he was the future king and as such he needed a future wife. Katharine and her duenna, Dona Elvira, both wrote that her marriage to Arthur had never been consummated.
Pope Julius II granted the dispensation. Katharine had brought half of her dowry with her upon marriage to Arthur; if she returned home, her marriage contract required that the dowry be returned.
Also, her inheritance as dowager Princess of Wales was substantial. If she left England, so would that steady income.
The Marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon - The Anne Boleyn Files
Miniature portrait of Katharine of Aragon by Lucas Horenbout Katharine herself wrote to her father that she had no wish to remain in England but she would obey his decision. Despite her royal position, she lived in poverty. The Spanish ambassador was forced to buy her necessities and she was unable to pay her attendants. Katharine spent the next seven years in a state of political limbo.
And when he turned fourteen, Henry VII had his son publicly repudiate the betrothal, claiming that the marriage contract was made without his knowledge or consent.
Yet Katharine remained in England. Inthe situation was resolved with startling speed. Henry VII died and his eighteen year old son became king. Handsome, proud, and imbued with the romantic spirit of chivalry, he promptly married Katharine. Did he marry her out of a sense of obligation?
Were political councilors encouraging the Spanish alliance? Or did he love the dignified and lovely young princess? It is impossible to know. But they certainly acted like a loving and affectionate couple, far beyond typical royal marriages.
There were public displays of affection, declarations of love and respect, and for a long while she was also a close political adviser. Katharine proved herself to be the perfect consort, even when politics led her father to humiliate and betray Henry. Katharine recognized that she must choose between unwavering support of her father and loyalty to her husband. Katharine was far from barren and did her best; in the first nine years of their marriage, she conceived at least six times.
She miscarried twice, once delivered a stillborn daughter, and two sons died within weeks. The only surviving child was a daughter, Princess Mary, born in Henry was not unhappy with the birth of Mary; he assured ambassadors that if it were a daughter this time, a son would surely follow.
But it was soon clear there would be no sons. The age difference between he and Katharine was now more noticeable. The queen, struggling with frequent pregnancies and constant stress, looked older than her years.
Henry was a far more prudent king than most; he had just two serious affairs during his marriage to Katharine. But one of his mistresses, Elizabeth Blount, bore him a son.
It was clear he could have sons, but the queen could not. Bythe question of the succession was the most pressing issue facing the king. Two years before, he had titled his illegitimate son the duke of Richmond and granted him vast estates. Many, Katharine included, believed this was a preliminary step to naming him heir to the throne.
This never occurred and Richmond would die inbut — until then — it was a possibility. Katharine confronted Henry; he responded angrily and dismissed several of her beloved Spanish attendants.
The king by now had hopes of a legitimate heir. For the first few years accounts suggest they lived happily together, and Catherine proved a competent regent when Henry was campaigning in France from to While there was great celebration over the birth of Catherine's second child, Prince Henry, inthis male heir died soon after.
In all she bore Henry six children, including three sons, but all of them died except for one — their daughter, Mary later Mary Iborn in In Henry, still desperate for a son, asked the Pope for an annulment of his marriage so he could marry his new mistress. He claimed that the marriage was cursed as it went against the biblical teaching that a man should never marry his brother's widow.
However, Catherine refused to give in to Henry, saying her marriage to Arthur had never been consummated. She attracted much popular sympathy as she fought for her own rights and those of her daughter Mary.
Catherine of Aragon
Her daughter Queen Mary also had several portraits commissioned of Catherine, and it would not by any means be the last time she was painted.
After her death, numerous portraits were painted of her, particularly of her speech at the Legatine Trial, a moment accurately rendered in Shakespeare's play about Henry VIII. Her tomb in Peterborough Cathedral  can be seen and there is hardly ever a time when it is not decorated with flowers or pomegranates, her heraldic symbol. It bears the title Katharine Queen of England. In the 20th century, George V 's wife, Mary of Teckhad her grave upgraded and there are now banners there denoting Catherine as a Queen of England.
Every year at Peterborough Cathedral there is a service in her memory. There are processions, prayers, and various events in the Cathedral including processions to Catherine's grave in which candles, pomegranates, flowers and other offerings are placed on her grave. On the service commemorating the th anniversary of her death, the Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom attended.
During the service a rendition of Catherine of Aragon's speech before the Legatine court was read by Jane Lapotaire. The American historian Garrett Mattingly was the author of a popular biography Katherine of Aragon in InCatherine and her many supporters at court were the subjects of Catherine of Aragon and her Friends, a biography by John E.
InMary M. Luke wrote the first book of her Tudor trilogy, Catherine the Queen which portrayed her and the controversial era of English history through which she lived. Antonia Fraser did the same in her own biography of the same title; as did the British historian David Starkey in his book Six Wives: Many places in Ampthill are named after Catherine. It is on the site of the castle where she was sent during her divorce from the King.