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(1485-1536) Katherine of Aragon was the first wife of Henry VIII and the mother of Mary Tudor, also known as "Bloody Mary".
Katherine and Henry were married for 24 years until Henry divorced her for Anne Boleyn; Henry's desire for an heir had led him to defy the Catholic church and would lead to the English Reformation.
However much prowess that Katherine showed as a ruler, however humanitarian that she was, however popular that she was among her people, it all came to nothing as her six pregnancies produced only one surviving child, a daughter, and her looks were ravaged by time, stress, and constant pregnancy.
"...For my part, I pardon thou everything, and I desire to devoutly pray God that He will pardon thou also. For the rest, I commend unto thou our doughtere Mary, beseeching thou to be a good father unto her... Lastly, I makest this vouge (vow), that mine eyes desire thou aboufe all things."
-from Katherine of Aragon's deathbed letter to Henry VIII

A petite, buxom redhead and the daughter of warrior monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, Katherine of Aragon would have ended very differently had her sons survived. The love of her people, her own determination, and the support of foreign allies could not stop Henry from banishing her. Even her daughter was prevented from seeing her.
by Lorelili January 26, 2011
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