Catherine of Aragon

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Definition

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.

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