Wednesday, December 16, 2009

On This Day in Tudor History:

On December 16, 1485
Katherine of Aragon was born in Madrid, Spain, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.

Katherine was married by proxy to Arthur, Prince of Wales, (son of Henry VII) at the age of 13. By the age of 15, she was a widow in a foreign country where she didn't speak the language.

Not wanting to lose her dowry, Henry VII kept her captive in England for seven years until his death in 1509. By the age of 23, she was married to Arthur's brother, Henry VIII and crowned Queen of England.

Katherine was pregnant many times but she and Henry had only one surviving child: the future Queen Mary I. Not comfortable leaving his dynasty to a girl, after 24 years of marriage, Henry had their marriage annulled in order to marry Anne Boleyn. The drama of losing so many children and then the love of her husband, combined with the fight to hold onto Henry and the crown ruined Katherine's health and looks.

She would die at age 50, broken and alone at Kimbolton Castle, having been separated from her daughter for more than four years.

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