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Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

BY CHRISTINE TRAN | JUNE 7, 2018


Catherine of Aragon was King Henry VIII’s first wife and longest-lasting Queen of England. Although Catherine’s successor Queen Anne Boleyn suffered an infamously dark fate, Aragon’s own life was somehow even more tragic. Let’s just say that when it comes to marrying King Henry VIII, first is definitely worst.


Catherine of Aragon Facts

1. She Was a Cunning Girl

For all that Catherine was doomed to tragedy, her childhood was charmed. Her mother and father were no less than King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, a royal power couple of the time. The pair gave their daughter lessons in cunning, courting, and statecraft…and she’d need all of them to survive her husband King Henry VIII.

2. She Was Unusually Beautiful

From a young age, it was clear that Catherine was going to be a looker.

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She had long auburn hair, bright blue eyes, and a cherubic face. People actually called her “the most beautiful creature in the world,” and one courtier noted, “There were few women who could compete with the Queen in her prime”. Once that “prime” ended though, it was quite a different story.

3. She Was a Toddler Bride

Catherine’s path to King Henry VIII was almost as dramatic as her actual marriage. For one, she started out betrothed to his brother, not him. That’s right, her ambitious parents arranged her engagement to Henry’s older sibling Prince Arthur, the heir to England.

But it gets creepier. Catherine was just a toddling three years old at the time.

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