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November 6 - When Arthur Met Katherine



Today in 1501 Katherine of Aragon met Prince Arthur Tudor, her betrothed, for the first time. She had been traveling for nearly six months, through the hot summertime in Spain on horseback, a treacherous journey through the Bay of Biscay that had to be abandoned once, and then finally landing in Plymouth in early October. Then the overland trip through England in rainy autumn began. 

After years of marriage negotiations, Henry VII couldn’t wait any longer to see his son’s bride, and so he set off to surprise her, with his son, as she got closer to London. He met her in Hampshire, at a palace that belonged to the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and at first they were nearly turned away. The Spanish diplomat insisted that tradition demanded that she not meet Arthur before her wedding day. Henry was insistent, and Catherine knew she wouldn’t get out of it, so she agreed. Henry was pleased with the sight, and the betrothal was blessed, and celebrated with Katherine entertaining the royal party with music and dancing. It must have been a stressful situation for Catherine after all her traveling, but she handled it with grace and dignity. The next day she set off to complete the journey to London.

That’s your Tudor Minute for today. Remember you can dive deeper into life in 16th century England through the Renaissance English History Podcast at englandcast.com.

Episode Links:
James Boulton from the Queens of England Podcast on Katherine of Aragon https://www.englandcast.com/2017/02/episode-69-supplemental-chat-with-james-boulton-on-katherine-of-aragon/

Tudor Times on Katherine of Aragon