14th November 1501 - Marriage of Katherine of Aragon to Arthur, Prince of Wales.
They were married in St Paul’s Cathedral (pictured). She was 15, he was 14. They had been betrothed since the Treaty of Medina del Campo, 1489.
Katherine of Aragon’s badge
What is a badge for?
Most of the nobility had a family coat of arms which passed down the generations, but a badge was for an individual, and they would choose it themselves. This would then be used on their personal items or on buildings etc made in their honour, like a sort of subtle logo. For example, in places such as Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle, Katherine of Aragon’s pomegranate can still be seen in the stonework built during her time as queen.
What does Katherine’s symbolise?
The choice of a pomegranate is a play on words. The Spanish word for pomegranate is granada, which is also the name of the city of Granada. The city was conquered in 1492 by Katherine of Aragon’s parents, Ferdinand and Isabella, when they drove the last of the Moors out of Spain. It was the final victory in their campaign to make Spain a Catholic kingdom. Such an important victory made by such iconic monarchs has been eluded to by their daughter’s choice of a pomegranate as her badge. It is to remind everyone who her parents are and what they achieved.
The gash in the fruit, revealing the seeds inside, represents fertility. This symbolises that beneath a strong exterior (like the fruit’s skin and Katherine’s intelligence and political prowess) lies the possibility of a new generation, although this didn’t quite come true in her case.
“Princess Mary’s English and Spanish ancestry was rich in enterprising, combative, courageous, and independent men and women. She too would carry those traits, and though raised as an Englishwoman, she was also taught to honor her Spanish blood and acknowledge it proudly. She was after all cared for by a mother whose English was never really fluent, and who continued to pray in Spanish all her life. In personality and spirit, Mary would most resemble her grandmother Isabella. She would show Isabella’s tenacity, her bravery, her taste for long working hours, her tendency to melancholy. Mary shared something of Isabella’s desire to purify religious belief as well, but in circumstances so different from those of fifteenth-century Spain as to defy comparison. Had she lived amid the archaic honor, piety, and religious idealism of medieval Spain, Mary might have been a heroine as splendid as her grandmother; amid the crisis-ridden climate of treachery, doubt, and religious revolution of Tudor England, she was to find obstacles even Isabella could not have conquered.”
—Carolly Erickson, Bloody Mary
At 4 o’clock in the morning, Princess Mary Tudor was born at the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich.
One of Katherine of Aragon’s ladies-in-waiting was Maud Green, mother of Henry’s sixth wife, Catherine Parr.