On the 27th June 1505, Prince Henry renounced his betrothal to Katherine of Aragon. It was the eve of his fourteenth birthday and a small party had assembled in a lower chamber on the western side of the Palace of Richmond,
Before Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester and Lord Privy Seal, the Prince explained that he had entered into an agreement to marry Katherine. However, the agreement was conditional since it had been made while he was a minor and could only be carried into effect when he came of age. Now, as he was ‘attaining the years of puberty’, he solemnly announced his intention not to proceed with the marriage. Henry’s protestation was witnessed by the Royal Secretary, the King’s Chamberlain and Vice-chamberlain, by Prince Henry’s own Chamberlain, Henry Marney, and by Dr Nicholas West, Archdeacon of Derby.
In renouncing his marriage to Katherine, Prince Henry affirmed that he had acted ‘neither by force, fraud or entreaty… but willingly and freely, in no way compelled’. The truth, however, was that he had spoken as the mere mouthpiece of his father.
Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey, 2004, p93-94
Picture of a young Henry VIII.