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Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536)

Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536)

Queen of England. Name variations: Katherine or Catharine; (Spanish) Catalina. Born Dec 16, 1485, in Spain; died of cancer, Jan 7, 1536, in Kimbolton, England; dau. of Isabella I (1451–1504), queen of Castile, and Ferdinand II, king of Aragon (r. 1479–1516); sister of Juana la Loca (1479–1555); m. Arthur, prince of Wales, 1501 (died 1502); became 1st wife of Henry VIII (1491–1547), king of England (r. 1509–1547), 1509; children: Mary I (1516–1558, queen of England); and a number who were stillborn.

Spanish princess, renowned for her piety, dignity, and strength of character, who was queen of England and wife of Henry VIII for 24 years; was educated at Spanish royal court; betrothed to Henry VIII's older brother Arthur, prince of Wales (1489); married him (1501); a widow after only 5 months of marriage (1502), lived in seclusion and poverty for the following 8 years; married Henry VIII (1509); acted as his regent (1513) and governed the country well in his absence; was a popular queen, well known for her religious piety as well as her patronage of scholars; when Henry became convinced that she was unable to provide him with a son and decided to have the marriage dissolved (1525), confronted him in court and appealed divorce proceedings to Rome (1529); banished from court (1531); was divorced from Henry VIII by Archbishop Cranmer (1533).

See also Women in World History.

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