Catherine of Aragon


Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536 CE) was a Spanish princess who famously became the Queen of England and the first wife of Henry VIII of England (r. 1509-1547 CE). When the marriage did not produce a male heir, Henry VIII became desperate to divorce Catherine and find another wife. Catherine refused to cooperate with the king's wishes and the Pope refused to annul the marriage, leading Henry to take the drastic step of splitting the Church in England away from Rome. The marriage, perhaps the most fateful in English history, was finally annulled in 1533 CE and Catherine was banished to a life of retirement until her death from illness in 1536 CE. Catherine's legacy continued, though, with the crowning of her daughter with Henry, Mary I of England in 1553 CE.

More about: Catherine of Aragon


  • 1485 - 1536
    Life of Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII of England and mother of Mary I of England.
  • 15 Dec 1485
    Catherine of Aragon, future wife of Henry VIII of England, is born.
  • Mar 1489
    Henry VII of England and King Ferdinand II of Aragon arrange for their children, Prince Arthur and Princess Catherine of Aragon, to marry at a future date.
  • 14 Nov 1501
    Prince Arthur of England and Princess Catherine of Aragon marry.
  • 2 Apr 1502
    Prince Arthur of England, first husband of Catherine of Aragon, dies of illness.
  • Sep 1502
    Henry VII of England arranges for his second son Henry (future Henry VIII of England) to marry Catherine of Aragon at a future date.
  • 11 Jun 1509
    Prince Henry (future Henry VIII of England) marries Catherine of Aragon.
  • 18 Feb 1516
    Birth of Mary, daughter of Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon. She is the future Mary I of England.
  • Jun 1529
    Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio presides over a special court to decide the annulment of the first marriage of Henry VIII of England. No decision is reached.
  • 1532
    Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor over Henry VIII of England's plans to remarry.
  • 25 Jan 1533
    Henry VIII of England marries his second wife, Anne Boleyn, in secret.
  • 23 May 1533
    Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury formally annuls Henry VIII of England’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
  • 1 Jun 1533
    Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is crowned Queen of England.
  • 30 Apr 1534
    Parliament passes the Act of Succession which declares Henry VIII of England's daughter Mary (with Catherine of Aragon) illegitimate.
  • 9 Jan 1536
    Death from cancer of Catherine of Aragon, first wife of Henry VIII of England.