Katherine of Aragon (1485-1536), First Queen of Henry VIII
Sitter associated with 13 portraits
Katherine was the youngest child of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. She came to England in 1501 at the age of sixteen to marry Prince Arthur, but only months after the marriage Arthur died. In 1509 she married Arthur's younger brother Henry VIII, and she bore him five children, of whom only Princess Mary, later Mary I, survived. Longing for a son and keen to marry Anne Boleyn, Henry questioned the validity of their marriage, which was finally annulled in 1533. Described as 'prudent and good', Katherine gained respect for her dignified behaviour during many years of humiliation.