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Hola. I am Katherine the Queen. I was born Doña Catalina, an infanta of Spain. I am my mother 's fifth and last child. My mother is her Catholic Majesty, Doña Ysabel, Queen of Castile.

The Castilian capital is Toledo, and the capital of Aragon is Barcelona, but I was born on December 16, 1485, in a bedchamber at the Archbishop 's Palace at Alcalá de Henares (above), which is near a town called Madrid. The palace has walls covered with tapestries, frescoes, and velvet hangings. I was named after my mother the queen 's paternal grandmother, Katherine of Lancaster. Some say I am the one who most resembles the queen.

I was betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, since I was three.

My family has been wracked by tragedy. My brother, Juan the Prince of Asturias and heir to the throne, died in 1497, shortly after marrying Princess Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor. Don Juan was on his way to the second marriage of my eldest sister, Doña Isabel, who was now marrying Manuel of Portugal. My sister died in 1498, giving birth to little Miguel, who died in 1500.

I married Arthur, Prince of Wales on November 14, 1501, at St Paul 's Cathedral. I chose the motto "Not for my crown, " and my badge was the pomegranate.

On December 21, we left for Ludlow Castle in Wales. Here Prince Arthur was to learn to rule, but in late in March, we were both struck with illness, and on April 2, 1502, my new husband died. I was 16, and I was alone in a foreign country whose language I barely knew.

I lived in limbo for seven long years. I couldn 't go home, I wasn 't married, and I was in the middle of a struggle between my father and my former father-in-law as to who would pay the expenses of my household. On November 26, 1504, my mother died. I felt abandoned. I should have married Prince Henry soon after his 14th birthday on June 28* but that birthday came and went. I faced a bickering household of Spaniards isolated in the midst of England.

My fortunes changed after King Henry VII of England died on April 22, 1509. Prince Henry came to the throne, and we were married in Greenwich on June 11, the feast day of St. Barnabas. When I married Henry, I changed my motto to "humble and loyal. "

Our coronation was at Westminster Abbey on the 24th of June, on midsummer 's day. Now all the world rejoices with me. The king is young, vibrant, and handsome, and I dedicate my life to God and to the service of England. Who knows what the future will bring?


Rubin, Nancy. (1991). Isabella of Castile: The First Renaissance Queen. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Starkey, David. (2003). Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Weir, Alison. (1991). The Six Wives of Henry VIII. New York: Ballantine Books.

Read the alternative history:

Wedding Announcement of Arthur and Katherine
For our modern-day guests, the celebration will commence online on Sunday, November 14, 2010 in Zone: History.

Katherine of Aragon Costuming


The badge of Catherine of Aragon is originally from the Weidenfeld and Nicolson Archive. The image is from the Catherine of Aragon Gallery, (copyright) 1995-2010 Lara E. Eakins Last update: 7 September 2007

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