11th June 1509 – Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon Marry

On the 11th June 1509, Henry VIII married Katherine of Aragon in the Queen’s closet at Greenwich Palace. There was an age gap, him being 17 at the time and she 23, as she was originally meant for Henry’s brother Arthur, Prince of Wales. Arthur had however died on the 2nd May 1502, leaving Catherine a widow and Henry heir to the throne.

Giles Tremlett, Katherine’s biographer, says that Henry and Katherine’s marriage was not a huge public affair like her first marriage. Instead of marrying at St Paul’s with a crowd of spectators, they had a private wedding in one of the Queen’s Closets at the Palace, possibly in the Palace Chapel Royal.

Preparations were being made for a lavish joint coronation which was due to take place on the 24th June, the feast day of St John the Baptist. This had previously been a day of ill-omen for Katherine. This was the day when her father had been due to pay the second instalment of her marriage portion; he had twice defaulted and twice exposed her to intolerable humiliation. Now, for once, she could look forward to it with joy.

Sources:

Tremlett, p149

Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII, David Starkey, p109

image

Picture of Katherine of Aragon.

 

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