Catherine of Aragón was the last child born to the two ruling rulers of Spain, King Ferdinand of Aragon (1452 – 1516) and Queen Isabella of Castile (1451 – 1504). She was believed to have been brave and stubborn, and even in death refuses to accept her husband’s treachery as just. Here are some interesting facts about Catherine of Aragon.
She married twice
Endowed with royal blood on her mother’s side, she was betrothed in infancy to Arthur, Prince of Wales and became the Princess of Wales in England in 1501. She became a widow at the age of 16 after the death of Arthur in 1502.
Henry VIII went against the advice of his council and took Catherine as his bride in 1509. Henry VIII was the second son of Henry VII. She became the first wife of King Henry VIII. King Henry married again in search for a male heir. He married Anne Boleyn, who gave birth to Elizabeth I. Elizabeth I was the last ruler from the Tudors.
Catherine of Aragon had many children but only Queen Mary I survived
Catherine conceived many times but most of her children were either stillborn or miscarried. Only one daughter of Catherine survived, who was Queen Mary Tudor, became the first Queen of England.
Her Daughter was first queen of England
The daughter of Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII, Mary I, became the first queen of England. Although, she was not officially proposed to succeed Henry VII. Edward VI had chosen Lady Jane Gray as his successor in his will. However, after 9 days of reign by Lady Jane Gray, Catherine of Aragon was chosen as the Queen of England.
Annulment of her marriage with King Henry VIII led to Protestantism
After several miscarriages and no male heir born to Catherine, King Henry VIII was frustrated. He wanted the marriage to be annulled. This was when he met Thomas Cranmer, the archbishop of Canterbury who annulled their marriage. Thomas Cranmer was ardent Protestant, who later made the law that the King of England was supreme to all including the Pope. These events led to Protestantism. Thomas Cranmer, would later be sentenced to death by the daughter of Catherine.
She never gave up the crown, even after King Henry VIII tried to divorce her in his search for a son and heir.
She was very well educated for the women of her time
It is well known that educating female children was not a favorite practice in Europe at that time. Catherine, however, was well educated. She could speak French, Latin, Spanish and later English. She also studied a wide variety of subjects. She trained in law, genealogy, the Bible and history.
First female ambassador
In 1507, she was ambassador Aragonese Crown to England, while she was the princess of Wales, making her the first female ambassador in the history.
She died in poverty and was given a small funeral
Catherine of Aragon died in poverty near 1536 at age 51. Her last resting place was in the Cathedral of Peterborough(Cambridgeshire). Their funeral ceremony took place on January 29, 1536 in the presence of four bishops and six abbots.