WI: All of Katherine of Aragon's children live to adulthood

Richard of Richmond would have the alliterative appeal, but alas no.

Okay, I think we are in agreement about the names. I have changed the tree accordingly. Prince John and Prince Edmund. I think Henry would most certainly let Katherine name his third son as his way of rewarding her for giving him three sons. Edmund would be his way of saying look how far we've come.

Now about the girls' names. Although, I am obviously not changing Mary's name, can anybody think of an in-universe reason for Henry and Catherine to go with Mary's name instead of naming their second daughter after Catherine herself?

My goodness, I was not expecting so much activity in this thread already.
Elizabeth was named for both their mothers. Mary can be named for both their sisters. It's fine.
 
Considering the King's reaction to the birth of another daughter, the celebrations for the birth of his son and heir will literally be the stuff of legends.
 
Considering the King's reaction to the birth of another daughter, the celebrations for the birth of his son and heir will literally be the stuff of legends.
This daughter was his firstborn child, from a pregnancy who his wife had shortly being married.
 
1511
(Author's note: Nine months from April is January so it is probable for Katherine to have her son nearly ten months after her daughter. According to some web searches, it seems that a second baby being born so close to the first tend to be born premature which works out for my story).

If King Henry's reaction to Elizabeth was jubilation, it was times ten when the New Year's Prince was born. He was due to arrive mid--January so no one expected him a fortnight early.

Here is an account written by Lady Maud Parr [1] of the night of the Prince's birth:

It was a little past midnight, when Queen Katherine's water broke. We had all been sleeping when all of a sudden a pained scream cut through our blissful sleep. It was complete chaos as we were unsure what was happening as we woke up, some of us, believing the queen was being attacked and were scrambling for something to use against the would be attacker. Even when we realized that she was not being harmed, and that instead the cause of her distress was her babe, we still were lost in the chaos. We stumbled about like blind men in the dark, practically falling over each other to reach our mistress, none of us even thinking to fetch help or find a candle in our desperation to get to our lady.

The midwife, Mistress Collins, had more sense than all of of us put together. Alerted by the scream, she raced into the room, barking orders at us, most of which boiled down to "get the hell out of her way."

For her part, Queen Katherine, despite being in immense pain, was a trite kinder when telling us what to do, assuring us that it was not our fault that the babe had choose to come at a most inconvenient time. "He has the most dreadful manners, I fear," she said in a strained voice. "I do hope that in time, you will forgive him for putting such unnecessary stress on you."

After a half hour of bumbling and fumbling, we finally managed to get things sorted: candles giving light to the room, cloths to swaddled the infant, the crucifix for Queen Katherine to hold on to as she labored to bring the prince into the world.

I do not think any of us thought of sending a message to at least the King, but in the end, we did not have to, for the news quickly spread that Queen Katherine was in labor and pretty soon we could hear boisterous laughter and the sounds of excited chatter outside the birth chamber.

The queen was in labor for almost three hours before Prince Henry finally graced the world with his presence. I had the honor of being the first to lay eyes on him and I even was allowed to the cut the umbilical cord. Little Prince Hal was smaller than his sister and did not cry as loudly as she did when Mistress Collins slapped his buttocks to help him breathe.

"Is he healthy?" Queen Katherine asked worriedly, once the babe had been cleaned up and laid in her arms. "He looks so tiny."

"He was born a bit early, Your Highness [2]," Mistress Collins informed her gently. "He just needs a little more time to grow."

It was clear that her words did nothing to soothe the queen's anxites. However, she found herself unable to worry in the face of her newborn son or when seconds later, King Henry would burst into the room, grinning from ear to ear, his eyes glowing with pride and joy.

"Where is he? Where is my son?" he demanded with an air of an excitable little boy who was getting a new puppy. He dashed over to the bed, pausing only to kiss his wife and quizzing her on her health, praising her for a job well down, before plucking his son out of her arms, gazing at him like a beggar would gaze at a feast that was all for him.


The celebrations for Prince Hal were even more extravagant than his sister's. Jousts, plays, archery contests, and tennis matches seemed to happen each week for at least a month with the bells ringing almost constantly.

However, that did not mean Princess Elizabeth was tossed to the side, following her brother's birth. Both Katherine and Henry still doted on their daughter. The Spanish ambassador made an observation in his letters of an event where the King and Queen had both children on their laps and every so often when he looked back, he would see that they had switched the children. "Never in my life, have I seen a pair so madly in love with each other and their young children."

The Duke of Buckingham had less charitable view on the matter: "The new King acts like a doting father and husband, meanwhile he lets the son of a butcher rule his kingdom while he spends all the money in the treasury."

In the week following Princess Elizabeth's first birthday, it was agreed that she and Prince Henry would share a household until the Prince of Wales turned ten. They were sent to Eltham Palace where King Henry had spent most of his childhood.

Despite them having left the court, the baby prince and princess were still being talked about especially in terms of making alliances. Queen Katherine was quite to eager to see her children marrying members of her family, suggesting her youngest niece, and namesake [3] could marry Prince Henry while Elizabeth could marry her nephew Crown Prince John of Portugal. [4]. Other options including Prince Henri of Navarre and Princess Renee of France.

But the matters of his children's marriages was put to the side when King Henry learned of a new venture he could pursue: a war against France. Pope Julius had called for a a holy war against France, wanting to expel them from Italy. In November 1511, a treaty between King Henry and King Ferdinand of Aragon is signed against France.

"The Lord Almighty has blessed my reign, and I pray He will continue to grant me good fortune," the red-haired monarch proclaimed.

1. Yes, that Maud Parr, mother of Catherine Parr. She was recorded as being one of Queen Katherine's favorite ladies.

2. For once I am going to stick to historical fact of King and Queens being referred to as Your Highness until 1520s, I believe. Still going to call the younger siblings princesses and princes though.

3. That would be Joanna's youngest daughter, the Archduchess Catalina who was born in 1507.

4. I know that Katherine would prefer her daughter married Archduke Charles, but considering he is engaged to her sister-in-law, she wouldn't be saying it outloud. Of course, Mary wouldn't actually mind her niece stealing her bridegroom, freeing her up for Charles Brandon.
 
Last edited:
Interesting! I doubt Elizabeth would go to Ferdinand (he's not high ranking enough yet if I am correct), though Catherine could push for it anyhow, or she could go to Charles. Great update too!
 
Interesting! I doubt Elizabeth would go to Ferdinand (he's not high ranking enough yet if I am correct), though Catherine could push for it anyhow, or she could go to Charles. Great update too!
Wasn't he being considered his grandfather's heir to Spain during that time? If not, I will change it to Katherine pushing John of Portugal instead because there is no way Katherine and Henry wouldn't think their daughter was meant to be queen.
 
Wasn't he being considered his grandfather's heir to Spain during that time? If not, I will change it to Katherine pushing John of Portugal instead because there is no way Katherine and Henry wouldn't think their daughter was meant to be queen.
IIRC, Ferdinand did want Ferdinand the Younger to be his heir but It wasn't ever officially done, at least not in Castile and I doubt Catherine would want to risk ruining her Mother's legacy of a united Spain (as Ferdinand being married to Elizabeth would likely mean Ferdinand Jr remains Prince of Girona). Though I am not an expert in Spanish history, so I could very well be wrong.
 
IIRC, Ferdinand did want Ferdinand the Younger to be his heir but It wasn't ever officially done, at least not in Castile and I doubt Catherine would want to risk ruining her Mother's legacy of a united Spain (as Ferdinand being married to Elizabeth would likely mean Ferdinand Jr remains Prince of Girona). Though I am not an expert in Spanish history, so I could very well be wrong.
Better safe than sorry. I'll change to John of Portugal. After all, I think Katherine would want marriages between her children and her sister Maria's children as well.
 
Better safe than sorry. I'll change to John of Portugal. After all, I think Katherine would want marriages between her children and her sister Maria's children as well.
True, I suppose, though then again I think Manuel was pushing for a Spanish bride for John, though I digress.
 
True, I suppose, though then again I think Manuel was pushing for a Spanish bride for John, though I digress.
To be fair, I said Katherine was pushing for it. Besides these were mere possibilities, nothing has been set in stone as of yet.
 
Last edited:
To be fair, I said Katherine was punishing for it. Besides these were mere possibilities, nothing has been set in stone as of yet.
True, it's your timeline as well. Besides an English Princess would be just as good as a Spanish Princess (and it would help the genepool get some breathing room).
 
It's what she deserves
Obligatory
IT'S WHAT SHE DESERVES - YouTube
 
I find it fairly implausible that Catherine would give birth to a daughter 13th March of 1510 and then to a son on January 1st of 1511. Even if she conceives in March it would just barely allow for nine months to pass between their births.
IOTL, Henry and Catherine actually had sex before she was churched for the January 1511 baby, so nine months could be possible. Fertility wasn't Catherine's problem - keeping the child alive was her problem.
 
1512-1513
King Henry was almost disappointed when Katherine did not get pregnant for the third time during the third year of their marriage. "Does Your Grace mistake me for a dog?" Katherine jested---mostly. The Queen and King were deliriously happy, not even the rumors of Henry taking Anne Stafford or Jane Popincourt being his mistresses could ruin their happiness.

The War of the League of Cambrai was not going well for the English. Troops under Thomas Grey, Marquess of Dorset tried to capture Aquitaine. Ferdinand refused to help his English allies as he promised, leading to the first of many big fights between Henry and Katherine. Luckily they reconciled by the time Henry sailed off to Calais to lead the troops himself. Ironically around that time, Katherine found out she was pregnant for the third time. She had also been named regent until her husband returned.

Around the same time Henry and his men defeated the French army at the Battle of the Spurs, King Louis reached out to King James of Scotland. Despite have made the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with England in 1502, King James found himself honor bound to support France, because of the older Auld Alliance where France and Scotland had agreed to help each other against English aggression.

Despite knowing he was attacking his wife, Margaret's, home country, King James rallied the troops and sent a message to London about his upcoming invasion. He is excommunicated by the pope for breaching his treaty with the England.

Despite being heavily pregnant, Katherine rode out in full armor to address the troops. Many historical fiction authors have Katherine fighting in the battle herself with some even (most recently Emma Frost's the Spanish Princess) going so far as having her give birth to the Duke of York on the battlefield. Although Prince Edward would be called his mother's warrior for he was her protector when she rode out in armor even though he was still inside of her, he was actually born in Woburn Abbey a month later.

By then the Battle of Flodden had been won, King James IV was dead and his bloody coat was sent to King Henry by his wife to use as a banner.

Although, King Henry was disappointed that he did not get as much land and glory as he hoped during the war, he was most pleased to come home to his courageous wife, their two toddlers and their bouncing baby boy.
 
Last edited:
Top