The Upbringing of Katherine of Aragon & Her Siblings


At some point I realized that despite having written at least five posts on Anne Boleyn, I’ve written maybe two that were solely dedicated to Katherine of Aragon. Despite her coming up on a regular basis when we cover Tudor history and having posted about all of her successors, I’ve neglected the OG of Henry VIII’s wives and we’re definitely going to rectify that over the next few weeks and months. Today, admittedly, we will still not cover Katherine as queen, but that’s because I’d like to start at the beginning and Katherine had an eventful and significant childhood in Spain as the daughter of the rather famous Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile.

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The Divorce of Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter

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It says something about the House of York that one of its highest-ranking women could go through a divorce in the 15th century and end up forgotten by history. After all, between Elizabeth Woodville, Richard III and two disappearing princes, there are enough colorful figures much closer to the throne that the ups and downs of Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter are easy enough to forget. Nevertheless, two of Anne’s brothers were kings of England, while her first marriage put her in the unique position of having a husband on one side of a civil war and blood family on the other. Her first marriage is tinged with hints violence, while her subsequent divorce and remarriage show a woman with as much fortitude and willfulness as her more famous brothers.

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Royal Roundup: Commonwealth Day, William’s Middle Eastern Tour & a Royal Wedding Update

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A lot of news has cropped up in the last 24 hours, so we’re going to do a quick royal roundup to capture the greatest hits!

This morning Kensington Palace released an update on the May wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with further details on the guests and logistics. It read:

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Lionheart’s Wife: Berengaria of Navarre


Berengaria of Navarre, wife of Richard I, is perhaps the least-known and easiest to forget queen consort in English history. Indeed, for the entirety of her husband’s reign she never once set foot in his country and without any children to anchor her to the Plantagenet dynasty, his death untethered her and easily removed her fingerprints from history. Nevertheless, her husband is one of England best-known monarchs thanks to his military prowess, his role in the Crusades and a rather catchy nickname – “the Lionheart” – that keeps his memory alive. For nearly eight years, Berengaria was his wife.

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Kate Turns Up in Orla Kiely for NPG Exhibit

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Following up on the success of today’s Royal Foundation forum, the Duchess of Cambridge was out and about for a snowy evening in London at the National Portrait Gallery. Of all of Kate’s patronages, the NPG is probably my favorite. There are few things I enjoy more than starting with the Plantagenets in their historical exhibit and working my way towards the Georgians. Thus, I always get a kick out of seeing Kate turn up on their behalf and tonight was no exception.

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The Fab Four Kick Off the Royal Foundation Forum

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Today was a big day: for the first time since her engagement was announced, Meghan Markle joined Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for a working event. (In this case, I don’t count Christmas.) We’ve become accustomed to seeing William, Kate and Harry undertake engagements as a threesome, but until this afternoon had yet to see how the chemistry would adjust to incorporate Harry’s fiancée. By all appearances, she fits in well! She showed little sign of nerves and displayed an easy relationship with her future in-laws, particularly Kate.

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Kate Picks Up Two New Patronages

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Today’s engagements on behalf of Nursing Now 2020 and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have been on the books for a while now, but it wasn’t until this morning that Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge would formally become patron of each. It’s a big deal when members of the Royal Family officially take on new patronages in general, but especially when it’s one of the younger set (at least in my opinion). The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have both candidly expressed that their approach to monarchy is quality over quantity, thus when either they or Kate take on a new cause or project it’s a safe bet that it means something to them personally.

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William & Mary in The Hague


The House of Stuarts brought about a lot of firsts, though they’re rarely given credit for it. Indeed, stuck between the Tudors and the forebears of today’s Royal Family, they’re an in-between group of monarchs that have always failed to inspire quite as much interest as their peers. And that’s a shame, because they were certainly as dysfunctional and dramatic as those that came before and after. Even more, they were just as politically significant to the evolution of Great Britain.

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A Look Back at Kate as a Royal Fiancée

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Since announcing their engagement on November 27, 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have undertaken a series of public engagements to introduce the bride-to-be to the UK. So far, they’ve turned up in Nottingham, Cardiff and Edinburgh, as well as two engagements in London. Averaging around two to three appearances per month, it’s likely that the two will continue at the same pace until the big day in May.

But the excitement of the events, the newness of Meghan and the breathless media coverage made me both nostalgic and curious about this time seven years ago when it was the Duchess of Cambridge – then Kate Middleton – who was preparing for her future role. It’s been just long enough that I wanted to take a look back and see what’s changed and what hasn’t.

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Anthrax Scare Directed at Meghan Treated as Racist Hate Crime


Dispiriting news came out yesterday that a letter containing racist language and white powder was sent to Meghan Markle at St. James’s Palace in London. The mail was received on February 12 and police have confirmed that while the powder was identified as “harmless,” they are treating the incident as a racially-motivated hate crime.

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