Catherine's First Marriage (04:11)
Catherine of Aragon married Arthur, the Prince of Wales and eldest son to Henry VII. The King wanted to create an alliance between the Tudors and the King in Spain. After the wedding, the couple retired to Ludlow Castle in Shropshire where they fell ill and Prince Arthur died.
Henry VIII's Life Changed (02:11)
At ten years old, Henry became the Prince of Wales. A year later his mother, Elizabeth of York, died, making Henry the only male heir. King Henry VII decided that his son should marry Catherine of Aragon.
Marriage Contract Created (02:29)
King Henry VII scheduled the marriage to take place when the Prince of Wales turned 13, but Catherine of Aragon's dowry did not arrive. She wrote to King Ferdinand explaining that she sold her clothes and jewelry to purchase food. On April 21, 1509, King Henry VII died of Tuberculosis.
King Henry VIII (03:04)
Freed from his father's stipulations, the newly crowned King married Catherine in a small ceremony. Henry found her leadership qualities attractive. By all accounts, the couple loved each other.
Catherine's First Pregnancy (05:15)
The royal couple celebrated, but the child was stillborn. Catherine remained in confinement until she became pregnant again. She gave birth to Henry VIII's first son, Henry on New Year's Day 1511. The child died eight weeks later.
War with France and Scotland (04:09)
King Henry VIII boosted his image by going to war with France and appointed Catherine Regent. King James IV decided to take advantage of Henry's absence and invaded England. Catherine marched three armies north to defend her husband's crown; her army killed the King of Scotland.
Catherine is Victorious (02:37)
Catherine wrote King Henry VIII, boasting of the victory and gave him the Scottish king's coat. The king had only won minor skirmishes and was jealous of her success. After the war, he no longer wanted a co-ruler, but a wife who could give him a son.
Henry and Catherine's Dead Children (04:03)
Two more boys and a girl died after childbirth, which took a toll on the royal marriage. In February 1516, Catherine gave birth to a daughter, Mary. Only three women previously tried to rule England and each time it ended in a civil war. One of the queen's ladies-in-waiting gave King Henry VIII his first son, Henry Fitzroy.
Anne Boleyn (02:39)
Boleyn, another of Catherine's ladies-in-waiting, possessed elegant manners learned from the Arch-Duchess of Austria and the Queen of France. King Henry VIII wrote letters to her, begging that she agree to become his mistress.
Aiming Higher than a Mistress (02:51)
Boleyn witnessed her sister's uncertain future as the king's mistress and would not consent to become his lover. In her "Book of Hours," Henry writes of his everlasting love. Anne responded on another page, inferring that if he married her, she would give him a son.
Henry VIII's Divorce (02:57)
King Henry VIII found a passage in Leviticus that justified his desire to end his marriage to Catherine and petitioned the Pope, requesting an annulment. In June 1527, he told Catherine they should separate and obtain a divorce.
Catherine Fights Back (04:22)
Catherine refused to abdicate her crown and claimed that she and Arthur never consummated their marriage. Cardinal Wolsey wrote to the pope of Catherine's sexually transmitted disease. In April 1528, Catherine convinced King Henry VIII to allow the courts to try the matter publicly.
Credits: The Six Queens of Henry VIII: Episode 1 (00:36)
Credits: The Six Queens of Henry VIII: Episode 1
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