The Relationship of Mary and her parents, King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon.

Happy Royal Family.

Mary was very well loved and raised by Queen Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII; Is recorded that Henry adored to show her with proud to his guests and courtiers

According to David Starkey in his book “Six wives of Henry VIII”

“One such occasion took place on 23 February 1518, when the

Venetian ambassador, Giustiniani, had an audience at Windsor.

The King ordered the Princess, who had just celebrated her second birthday,

to be brought in. Solemnly, Wolsey, ambassador Giustiniani and the

attendant lords kissed the child’s hand. Then Mary caught sight of Friar

Dionysius Memo, the great Venetian organist, who was then resident

keyboard virtuoso at Henry’s Court. ‘Priest! priest!’ she ‘commenced

calling out in English’ and would not stop until Memo agreed to play for

her. Henry was delighted at the display, which showed that Mary was in

truth her father’s daughter: musical, precocious and imperious far

beyond her years.”

Catherine worked hard to make Mary the worthy heir of England, since no other children from her and Henry survived. She brought scholars as such Eramus, Thomas More and Luis Vives, Who Catherine serve as patron and in return he made – The Institution of a Christian Woman – wrote in dedication to the Queen in 1523. She also commissioned  and financed educational treats, all to make Mary one of the most well educated princess of Europe. At this point, Queen Catherine’s court was one of the most educational of the continent.

More than that, Catherine had a different way to raise Mary. She took much more care of her childr than the rest of queens of her time.

Back to David Starkey:

“when Mary had a serious teenage illness,

Catherine, surely recollecting these childhood days, announced she would

take personal charge of her daughter. ‘There is no need’, Catherine

insisted, ‘of any other person but myself to nurse her . . . I will put her in my

own bed where I sleep, and will sit up with her when needful.”

Very unusual way to a royal mother took care of a royal child.

Henry, by his part, sent Mary to her own household in Ludlow.
Why? She was his daughter, only offspring by him and his wife and more, she was his only heir and should be prepared as such.

The king usually called her “The Greatest Pearl in the Kingdom” and said “This child never cries

Divorce years

The lack of male heir was like a ghost around Henry. The years of civil war, the no good retrospect about a woman ruling the english and Catherine’s age were on Henry’s thoughts and the idea of a divorce seems valuable to him. However at the time of “the great matter” Mary, for a time, was speared from the turmoil, she was still going to court, being welcome by her parents and presented as the princess of wales, the kings heir, princess Mary Tudor.

Unfotunately, for Mary, things would change soon. She would be no longer princess, Henry broke with Rome, married Anne Boleyn and made her Queen of England, Mary did not hesitate to be loyal to her mother. That’s easy to say why:

  • First of all, Catherine, as many historians appoint was fighting for Mary’s legitimacy and right for the throne, Catherine was Isabella’s daughter, a Queen in her own right and sister to Juana, La loca, another Queen. Why Mary could not rule, since it was on her genes?
  • Second, as Said by starkey, Catherine and Mary had a different relationship for Royal family, they were very close, and Catherine had much more influence on her daughter, than Henry.

There’s a possibility that Catherine was ready to take her and Mary for a martyrdom
by this letter:

Daughter, I have such tidings today that I do perceive, if it be true, the time

is come that Almighty God will prove you.’ ‘I am very glad of it,’ she

continued, ‘for I trust he doth handle you with a good love.’ She had

heard that ‘this Lady’ was coming to her, some said with a letter from the

King. ‘Answer you with few words,’ she enjoined her, ‘obeying the King

your father in everything, save only that you will not offend God and

lose your own soul.’

Starkey says:

Be that as it may, Catherine’s purpose was clear: she was welcoming

her daughter to the ecstasy of shared martyrdom.

“‘And now you shall begin and by likelihood I shall follow. I set not a rush by it; for when they have done the uttermost they can, then I am sure of the amendment.’ And if things did not get better on earth, they would”

she knew, in heaven.

King Henry VIII separated both mother and daughter in a cruel way and Mary did not see Catherine even when she passed way in january 1536 nor attended her funeral.

Henry VIII’s actions changed Mary for the rest of her life.

Source: The six wives of Henry VIII – David starkey.
Next: Anne Boleyn and Mary.


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