Spotlight: Katherine of Aragon


Name: Katherine of Aragon / Catalina de Aragon

Title/s: Infanta of Spain / Princess of Wales / Dowager Princess of Wales / Queen of England, Ireland and France

Birth / Death: 16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536

Spouse: Arthur, Prince of Wales 1486-1502 / Henry VIII 1491-1547

Children: Henry, Duke of Cornwall 1511 / Mary I 1516-1558

Parents: Isabella I of Castile 1451-1504 & Ferdinand II of Spain 1452-1516

Siblings: Isabella 1470-1498 / Juan 1478-1497 / Juana 1479-1555 / Maria 1482-1517

Noble Connections: Katherine of Aragon was a princess of Spain (infanta) and her daughter became Queen of England, married to the King of Spain Philip II. Katherine’s sister Juana became Queen of Spain and her sisters Isabella and Maria were both Queens of Portugal.

Events of their Lifetime: Death of Prince Arthur 1502, coronation of Anne Boleyn 1533, birth of Elizabeth I 1533, Field of the Cloth of Gold 1520 & the death of Cardinal Wolsey 1530

Controversy: The main controversy over Katherine of Aragon is whether or not her first marriage to Prince Arthur was consummated, and thus whether Henry VIII did have grounds to divorce her.

Works of Fiction:
Philippa Gregory, The Constant Princess (2005)
Norah Lofts, The King’s Pleasure (1969)
Jean Plaidy, Katharine the Virgin Widow (1961)
Jean Plaidy, The Shadow of the Pomegranate (1962)

Portrayals on Screen:
Annette Crosbie, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 1970, 1 episode
Annabelle Dowler, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 2001, 2 episodes
Maria Doyle Kennedy, The Tudors, 2007-2010, 18 episodes
Assumpta Serna, Henry VIII, 2003, directed by Pete Travis
Ana Torrent, The Other Boleyn Girl, 2008, directed by Justin Chadwick
Yolanda Vazquez, The Other Boleyn Girl, 2003, directed by Philippa Lowthorpe
Joanna Whalley, Wolf Hall, 2015, 2 episodes

Further Reading:
John Dewhurst, ‘The Alleged Miscarriages of Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn’, Medical History, 28 (1984)
Julia Fox, Sister Queens: Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile (2011)
Antonia Fraser, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1992)
Karen Lindsey, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: a Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII (1995)
David Loades, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1996)
Lauren Mackay, Inside the Tudor Court: Henry VIII and His Six Wives Through the Writings of the Spanish Ambassador Eustace Chapuys (2014)
Garrett Mattingley, Catherine of Aragon (1942)
Ann Nonny, The Merry Wives of Henry VIII: a Tudor Spoof Collection (2012)
J.E. Paul, Catherine of Aragon and her Friends (1966)
Paul Rival, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1971)
David Starkey, Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII (2003)
Betty Travitsky, ‘Reprinting Tudor History the Case of Catherine of Aragon’, Renaissance Quarterly, 50 (1997)
Giles Tremlett, Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen (2010)
Alison Weir, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1991)

Arms:

Arms of Katherine of Aragon as Queen of England
Arms of Katherine of Aragon as Queen of England

Portrait:

Katherine of Aragon in later life, miniature by Lucas Hornebolte.
Katherine of Aragon in later life, miniature by Lucas Hornebolte.
Katherine of Aragon c.1502 by Michael Sittow.
Katherine of Aragon c.1502 by Michael Sittow.
Katherine of Aragon by Lucas Hornebolte
Katherine of Aragon by Lucas Hornebolte
Katherine of Aragon c.1496 by Juan de Flandes
Katherine of Aragon c.1496 by Juan de Flandes
Katherine of Aragon c.1560
Katherine of Aragon c.1560
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