The crucial facts about Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII of England
King Henry VIII is the best-known of the English Kings, a man who turned from a golden renaissance prince to a feared obese tyrant. He is also well-known for being the only King with more wives than mistresses, clocking up an astonishing 6 marriages.
So who were the women King Henry VIII married? Read on to find out the crucial facts about Henry VIII's first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Name: Catherine of Aragon, Katherine of Aragon, Katharine of Aragon, Catalina de Aragon
Parents: King Ferdinand of Aragon, Queen Isabella of Castile
Birth: 16th December 1485 in Madrid
Siblings: Isabella (1470–1498) who married Alfonso, Prince of Portugal first, and then secondly King Manuel I of Portugal. She had children by her second marriage only.
Juan or John (1478–1497) who married Archduchess Margaret of Austria. No children were born to the couple.
Juanna or Joanna (1479–1555) who married King Philip the Handsome of Burgundy. She had children, including the future Emperor, Charles V.
Maria (1482–1517) who married King Manuel I of Portugal, her older sister Isabella's husband, after Isabella's death. The couple had children.
Appearance: Catherine of Aragon was short, with reddish-blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin
Religion: Catherine was, and remained all her life, a pious and dedicated Catholic.
Marriages: Catherine's first marriage was to Arthur, Prince of Wales. Catherine of Aragon was betrothed to Prince Arthur when she was 2 years old, and married him when she was 15 years old, in November 1501. Prince Arthur died in April 1502, leaving Catherine of Aragon as a widow, the Dowager Princess of Wales.
Catherine of Aragon's second marriage, to King Henry VII, took place on 11th June 1509, when Catherine was 23 years old and Henry almost 18. Henry was Catherine's brother-in-law from her first marriage, as he was Arthur's younger brother.
Children: Catherine of Aragon had two stillborn children, in 1510 and 1513, three living children who died in infancy, born in 1511, 1514 and 1518, and a daughter, Queen Mary I, born 18th February 1516, who died in November 1558.
Marriage end: Catherine of Aragon's marriage to Henry VIII was ended by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, on 23rd May 1533. It was not a divorce, instead the marriage was annulled, meaning that in law it had never happened. Catherine never accepted the verdict. Henry married Anne Boleyn before the annullment, and the marriage was declared valid by Cranmer on 28th May 1533.
Death: Catherine died at the age of 50, on 7th January 1536, at Kimbolton Castle, which is in Cambridgeshire.
Sources: National Archives - http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/henryviii/
Letter from Catherine of Aragon to Henry VIII - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/oct/25/monarchy.markbrown
Biography of Catherine of Aragon - http://englishhistory.net/tudor/monarchs/aragon.html