On This Day: Catherine of Aragon born
Updated: Jan 5, 2022
December 16th, 1485: Catharine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, was born in Alcala de Henares, Spain.
Like all kings at the time Henry Vlll wanted a son to rule after him. Henry was married six times before a son was born to his third wife, but let us meet Henry’s first queen.
Catherine of Aragon had previously been married to Henry's brother Prince Arthur. She was betrothed to Prince Henry by the latter’s father, Henry VII, in 1509. The couple married on June 11th, 1509 at Greenwich Palace, Kent. The couple had six children but only their daughter Mary, who would later be crowned Queen Mary 1, survived.
In 1527 Henry announced his desire to divorce Catherine because she had failed to produce a male heir. They were divorced on May 23rd, 1533. Catherine died in Kimbolton Castle on January 7th, 1536 and is buried in Peterborough Cathedral where it is not unusual to see pomegranates, a symbol from Catherine's coat of arms, laid on her grave. The Cathedral also commemorate Catherine’s death and burial each year with a special service and programme of events.