Famous Spanish People

 Catherine of Aragon

A Spanish Princess,
  a Loyal Wife and Queen of England.


On 16 December, 1485, Catherine of Aragon was born at Laredo Palace, in Alcalá de Henares near to Madrid.  She was the youngest child of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.  Her full Spanish title as a princess was
Infanta Catalina de Aragón y Castilla.

The personal symbol of Catherine was a crowned pomegranate.  She is sometimes referred to as
The Pomegranate Queen.

Crowned Pomegranate

Whilst a young child, she was betrothed to Arthur Tudor, (below).  He was the oldest son of the English King
Henry VII.


In 1501, Catherine and Arthur were married in St. Paul's Cathedral, London.

Tragedy struck soon after the wedding!  In April 1502, the young couple fell seriously ill.   Arthur died and Catherine almost died.  The portrait below was painted by Michael Sittow in 1502 and it shows Catherine as a young widow.
Catherine of Aragon

It was decided that Catherine should marry Arthur's younger brother, Henry.  The wedding took place years later,  in 1509,  when Henry had become king.  He was now called King Henry VIII, (below.) 
Catherine was five years older than him.

Henry VIII

Catherine gave birth to many children but they all died except for one daughter who was born on 18 February, 1516.  She was named Mary and later she would become Queen Mary Tudor of England. (Below.) This means that the future Queen Mary Tudor of England was half Spanish.
Mary Tudor

Henry VIII was desperate for a son to be born.  He separated from Catherine in 1531 because it seemed that she was unlikely to have any more children.  He married one of Catherine's ladies-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn, in 1533.

(However, it is well-known that the marriage to Anne did not last and that Henry married four times more!)

Catherine did not wish to lose her husband and she always considered herself to be Henry's wife and the true Queen of England- even after he had re-married. 
In 1535, she was sent away from Henry's court to live in Kimbolton Castle.  She was forbidden to see her daughter as punishment for not agreeing to divorce Henry

In her castle, she had just a few servants and she lived in just one room, leaving it only to attend prayers in the chapel.  It is believed that the poor living conditions and her sadness damaged her health.

She died in Kimbolton Castle on 7 January 1536, at the age of fifty years. 
She was laid to rest in Peterborough Cathedral, (below.

Peterborough cathedral

 A boarding school now stands on the site of the castle where Catherine died.

When Catherine died, she was still heart-broken over Henry's decision to leave her and on the very day of her death, she wrote the following letter to Henry: -

My  most dear lord, king and husband,
The hour of my death now drawing on, the tender love I owe you forceth me, my case being such, to commend myself to you, and to put you in remembrance with a few words of the health and safeguard of your soul which you ought to prefer before all worldly matters, and before the care and pampering of your body, for the which you have cast me into many calamities and yourself into many troubles.
For my part, I pardon you everything, and I wish to devoutly pray God that He will pardon you also. 
For the rest, I commend unto you our daughter Mary, beseeching you to be a good father unto her, as I have heretofore desired. 
I entreat you also, on behalf of my maids, to give them marriage portions, which is not much, they being but three. 
For all my other servants I solicit the wages due them, and a year more, lest they be unprovided for.
Lastly, I make this vow, that mine eyes desire you above all things.
Katharine the Quene.

Catherine of Aragon''s signature

Spanish Zone

Famous Spanish People