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Today in History: June 11th, 1509

Photo Credit: Imagno / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Imagno / Getty Images

King Henry VIII of England marries his first wife, Catherine of Aragon

On this day, June 11, 1509, King Henry VIII of England married Catherine of Aragon. This marriage was important not only for personal reasons but also for political ones, aiming to strengthen the alliance between England and Spain.

Catherine of Aragon was born on December 16, 1485, to the powerful Spanish rulers Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. She was first married to Henry’s older brother, Arthur, Prince of Wales. After Arthur died in 1502, Catherine was betrothed to Henry to keep the alliance between the two countries intact. However, their marriage didn’t happen immediately and was delayed until Henry became king in April 1509.

Portrait of Catherine of Aragon.
Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. (Photo Credit: The Print Collector / Getty Images)

The wedding ceremony took place on June 11, 1509, at the Church of the Observant Friars in Greenwich. Although it was a private event, it was a significant moment. Just a few weeks later, on June 24, 1509, Henry and Catherine were crowned together at Westminster Abbey, marking the start of their rule as king and queen of England. In the early years, their marriage seemed happy, and Catherine proved to be a wise and supportive queen, even acting as regent when Henry was away fighting in France.

However, their marriage faced many difficulties. Catherine had several miscarriages and lost many infants, with their only surviving child being Mary, born in 1516. By the late 1520s, Henry, desperate for a male heir and attracted to Anne Boleyn, wanted to annul his marriage. When the Pope refused to grant the annulment, Henry broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and started the English Reformation.

More from us: Henry VIII Hid a Major Clue in a Painting That Might Identify His Favorite Wife

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Their marriage was officially annulled in 1533, and Catherine lived the rest of her life in relative isolation, known as the Dowager Princess of Wales. She died in 1536. This marriage and its annulment had a huge impact on England, leading to the creation of the Church of England and major changes in religion and politics. Catherine’s influence continued through her daughter, Mary I, who later became queen and tried to restore Catholicism in England.

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TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News