23rd June 1509 – Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII’s Coronation Procession

On the 23rd June 1509, Katherine of Aragon processed through London, just as she had done on the eve of her wedding to Arthur. She was to finally be crowned alongside Henry VIII the next day. Katherine was carried in a litter, English-style, and now appeared every inch an English Queen. Everything was white too: the horses, the covering of the little and Katherine’s own dress. She wore her hair like a bride: long and loose, covered only with a ‘coronal set with many rich orient stones’.

However, just as the Queen’s procession reached the Cardinal’s Hat tavern in Cornhill, it suddenly rained. It was so violent that Katherine had to take shelter ‘under the hovel of the drapers’ stalls’. Luckily, the shower was short and Thomas More made light of it, in a little poem he added to the collection of coronations verses he presented to the King.

Afterwards, Katherine followed her ladies-in-waiting and the gentleman of her Household. They were headed by Lady Elizabeth Stafford, the sister of the Duke of Buckingham, who himself was also attending. Also there was Margaret Plantagenet and Elizabeth Boleyn. Elizabeth was the sister of the Earl of Surrey, wife of Sir Thomas Boleyn and mother of three children. These were of course Anne, Mary and George Boleyn. Katherine’s Spanish servants were also attending: Ines de Venegas, Maria de Gravara and Maria de Salinas. The person that Katherine was probably most pleased to see was Fray Diego, who took place in the procession with the rank of ‘the Queen’s Chancellor and Confessor’.


Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey, 2004, p109-111

Six Wives of Henry VIII 3

Young Katherine of Aragon in The Six Wives of Henry VIII Series (1970)



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