11 key dates: Young Henry VIII, Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon

Are you watching The Spanish Princess on Starz and want to know how the story fits in the real timeline of Henry VIII, Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon? Here are 11 key dates in the history of the Tudors…

From left: Henry, Arthur and Margaret, the three children of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
1

19 September 1486

Arthur, first son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, is born in Winchester. He is named after the legendary king who is much in vogue through the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth

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2

28 November 1489

A sister, Margaret, is born to Arthur. The following day, the three-year-old boy is invested as the Prince of Wales


3

28 June 1491

Henry, who would would later accede to the throne as Henry VIII, as a baby. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
Henry, who would would later accede to the throne as Henry VIII, as a baby. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Prince Henry is born in Greenwich. He is not sent to his elder brother’s household, but instead joins his sister Margaret in the nursery overseen by his mother


4

1493

Arthur is sent to Ludlow, to continue his education as the king-in-waiting. Henry meanwhile is still being weaned, and learning to walk, in the company of his mother and sister

Arthur, Prince of Wales. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
Arthur, Prince of Wales. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
5

31 October 1494

Henry is invested as the Duke of York in London. This continues the mirroring of his childhood with that of his uncle, Richard Duke of York, one of the unfortunate princes in the tower


6

14 November 1501

Prince Arthur marries Catherine of Aragon at St Paul’s Cathedral. The two 15-year-olds then go off to live as man and wife in Ludlow. Arthur’s brother Henry was Katherine’s escort

Henry VIII's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, c1502. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, c1502. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images)
7

11 February 1503

Queen Elizabeth dies nine days after giving birth to her last daughter Catherine. Henry, her surviving son and the heir to the throne, is not yet 12 years old

8

23 February 1504

Henry takes over his dead brother’s place as Prince of Wales


9

21 April 1509

Henry VII dies. Three days later, his son is pronounced King Henry VIII


10

11 June 1509

Henry marries his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon. The pair have a magnificent joint coronation on 24 June. The country rejoices.

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This timeline originally appeared in the April 2009 issue of BBC History Magazine, alongside an article on Henry VIII’s childhood by David Starkey.