Katharine of Aragon: Influence and Legacy of a Foreign Queen of England in the Early Sixteenth Century

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Date of Award

Summer 2015


The popular rhyme, ??╖divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived,??? accurately depicts the common cursory knowledge of England???s King Henry VIII and his famous wives. However, this sentiment only serves to show the queens as temporary figures in Henry???s life without consideration of their education, power, influence, patronage, or management of their own lives as individuals. The historiography of England???s queen consorts overwhelmingly recognizes their historical importance only in relation to the politics surrounding their marriage arrangements. Through a study of Henry???s longest reigning wife, Katharine of Aragon, this project intends to show the wider historical, political, and cultural significance of queen consorts. The roles she played as Spanish princess, ambassador, queen consort, regent, and finally Dowager Princess of England illustrate her capabilities as an individual female ruler as opposed to simply the wife of a king.


Judy A. Ford

Subject Categories

Arts and Humanities | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | History