Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon: the royal marriage that didn’t last
In 1509, King Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon, daughter of the Spanish king and aunt of Emperor Charles. They have a total of seven children, but one by one they die at a (very) young age. Only daughter Mary Tudor – later known as “Bloody Mary” – survives.
Because Catherine failed to produce a son – and therefore an heir to the throne – the marriage came under heavy pressure and eventually failed in 1533.
For this reason, the British Museum considers it likely that the pendant was produced between 1509 and 1533. Afterwards would not make sense, it sounds, “unless it was made by a fervent opponent of divorce”.
After his divorce, Henry VIII would have five other wives: one died in childbirth, he divorced another and had two other wives beheaded. Catherine was eventually banished from court and spent her years in remote castles. She eventually died of cancer in 1536. Ten years later, in 1547, Henry VIII also died.