Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient. The young lovers revel in each other’s company and plan the England they will make together. But tragically, aged only fifteen, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his sixteen-year-old bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother, Henry; become Queen; and fulfill their dreams and her destiny.
Widowed and alone in the avaricious world of the Tudor court, Katherine has to sidestep her father-in-law’s desire for her and convince him, and an incredulous Europe, that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated, that there is no obstacle to marriage with Henry. For seven years, she endures the treachery of spies, the humiliation of poverty, and intense loneliness and despair while she waits for the inevitable moment when she will step into the role she has prepared for all her life. Then, like her warrior mother, Katherine must take to the battlefield and save England when its old enemies the Scots come over the border and there is no one to stand against them but the new Queen.
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The Constant Princess
Katherine of Aragon (also known as Catalina) has known her destiny since childhood: to wed Prince Arthur of England. The daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, 16-year-old Katherine leaves behind her beloved home to forge a new life in a foreign land and take her place as Princess of Wales and, ultimately, Queen of England.
To Katherine's surprise, her marriage to Arthur is a passionate love match as well as a political union. As the Prince and Princess of Wales, they eagerly plan for their future reign -- until tragedy strikes five months into their marriage. Arthur falls ill, and before he dies the young prince extracts a vow from his wife. She is to marry his brother, Harry, and become Queen of England. She is to rule England in Arthur's stead, fulfilling their dreams and her destiny. But to take the throne, Katherine must deny her true love and tell the world that she and Arthur never consummated their marriage.
The Constant Princess is the story of a young girl who was raised to be a queen, the lengths to which she goes to fulfill a deathbed promise, and the crucial lie that changed the course of history.
Questions & Topics for Discussion
1. The novel opens in Granada, Spain, as five-year-old Catalina witnesses her parents, Isabella and Ferdinand, conquer the last stronghold of the Moors in Sp see more