The Marriage Of Henry The Viii And Cathrine Of Aragon

2406 words - 10 pages

Spain and England had a history of poor diplomatic relations, and it was common in the Fifteenth Century for members of a royal family to marry off a daughter or son to a child from another royal family, to establish an alliance between those two countries. Catherine of Aragon was the youngest child of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castille, who almost immediately began looking for a political match for her. When she was three years old, she was engaged to Arthur, the son of Henry VII of England. Arthur was not even quite two at the time.When Catherine was almost sixteen, in 1501, she made the journey to England. When she and Arthur were married on November 14, 1501, in old St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Catherine was escorted by Arthur's younger brother, Henry. Following the ceremony, the young couple moved to Ludlow Castle on the Welsh border. Less than six months later Arthur died, possibly of the "sweating sickness". Historians speculate that the history of England would have changed drastically if Arthur had lived a year longer.Catherine was now a widow and still young enough to marry again, so on June 25, 1503, she was formally engaged to the king's second son, Henry, now Prince of Wales. The marriage, however, didn't take place during Henry VII's lifetime. Henry made use of the presence of the unmarried princess in England to extort new conditions, and especially to secure the marriage of his daughter Marry to the archduke Charles V. By 1505, when Henry was old enough to wed, Henry VII wasn't as keen on a Spanish alliance, and young Henry was forced to reject the engagement.Catherine's future was uncertain for the next four years. When Henry VII died in 1509, on one of the new young king's actions was to marry Catherine. She was finally crowned Queen of England in a joint coronation ceremony with her husband Henry VIII on June 24, 1509.Catherine enjoyed a few years of married happiness; Henry showed that he could be an affectionate husband, and the alliance with Ferdinand was maintained against France. During Henry's invasion of France in 1513, she was made regent; and showed great enthusiasm in preparing for the Scottish expedition, by riding north to put herself at the head of the troops, when the victory of Flodden Field ended the battle.A year after the Flodden Field victory an affectionate meeting took place between the couple. Ferdinand's treachery, however, in making a treaty with France, stirred up Henry's wrath, and his angry accusations fell upon Catherine, who took the opportunity in 1520, during the visit of her nephew Charles V to England, to urge the policy of gaining his alliance, rather than that of France. After that, Catherine accompanied the king to France, the celebrated visit to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, but in 1522, war was declared against France and the emperor again welcomed to England.Shortly thereafter, Catherine found herself pregnant. This first child was a stillborn daughter born...

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