From History Extra by Dr. Sean Cunningham author of Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was:
When the teenage Arthur, first prince of the Tudor royal family, married Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon in a spectacular wedding ceremony, it sparked a chain of events that would change the face of England forever. Here, Sean Cunningham explores their short marriage and the seeds of the second union that was to come.
The wedding of Arthur, first prince of the Tudor royal family, to Catherine of Aragon reveals King Henry VII’s ambition for England in the rapidly changing European political firmament at the end of the 15th century. The negotiations were long and complicated, and the ceremony the most spectacular seen in England for more than a century. Yet the marriage was tragically short – ended by Arthur’s death in April 1502 after only five months as a teenage husband. Its consequences were to become enormous once Arthur’s brother, Prince Henry, made the decision to ask Catherine to be his wife.
Most late medieval English royal weddings had been private, sometimes even secret, events. That was not the case with the marriage that allied England and Spain in November 1501. Arthur and Catherine’s matrimony was manipulated for maximum public impact on an international scale. Henry VII had already demonstrated that propaganda was an essential tool in establishing Tudor rule.
Categories: British History