Friday, 17 December 2010

December 16th, 1485: The Birth of Katherine of Aragon

There are a few postings to mark Katherine of Aragon's 525th birthday. The youngest of the five surviving children of Ferdinand and Isabella, the so-called "Catholic kings" who were the first rulers of a unified Spain, Katherine's elder siblings were Isabella and Maria (both future queens of Portugal), the tragic Juana "la loca" and Juan, the heir-presumptive until his death shortly after his wedding as a teenager to Margaret, Archduchess of Austria, who ironically enough later became mentor and chaperone of a youthful Anne Boleyn

Katherine of Aragon was married twice - firstly to Arthur, Prince of Wales, in 1501 and following his death during the plague epidemic of 1502, she subsequently remarried to his younger brother, King Henry VIII, in 1509. She was the mother of Mary Tudor, who ruled in her own right from 1553 to 1558, and Katherine herself headed the English government for a brief period as regent during the French wars of 1513. 

Over at The Anne Boleyn Files, Claire Ridgway marks the anniversary of Katherine's birthday (or Catalina, as she would have been known at the time of her christening.)

Stephanie Mann, the author of Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation, marks the future queen's birthday on her blog.

For this blog's profile of Katherine of Aragon's portrayals on-screen, from Violet Vanburgh to Maria Doyle Kennedy, click here


  1. I read in a book that Catherine of Aragon was almost born on a battlefield. Queen Isabella didn't leave the reconquista to her husband or nobles, instead she rode into battle very pregnant.

    Queen Isabella only began her lying in, after an important Moorish stronghold fell. No wonder Catherine was such a fighter.


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