Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory


    The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory is another great read!  This is the story of Catherine of Aragon also known as Catalina, Infanta of Spain and the Princess of Wales.  She has know this title her whole life and always knew she would become Queen of England.

     At a very young age Catalina, Infanta of Spain, knew she was going to be Queen of England.  She had seen war and known that woman can fight on the battle field and win wars.  Catalina, Infanta of Spain, was betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales.  She knew that one day she would have to leave her family and travel to England to become the Princess of Wales and eventually become the Queen of England.

    When she leaves her home to move to England she is out of place in a strange land with a strange language.  Arthur, Prince of Wales is not what she had expected and their relationship is off to a rocky start.  After some troubles and a fight for power between the young couple the fall madly in love with each other.  They are inseparable, yet no one knows this.  Arthur's Grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, ran the Tudor court and told the young couple when they could be together.   This did not stop the young couple from being together and planing their future and the future kingdom.

   Arthur is stricken with an illness that ultimately takes his life, leaving Catalina alone in a strange land with nowhere to go and a deathbed promise to keep to her husband.  She must tell the ultimate lie and stick to it.  The battle over who gets to keep Catalina becomes quite petty.  King Henry VII does not want to send her back to Spain, due to her dowry not being paid in full and her parents seem to not want her home.  This little battle over where Catalina will end up is both a blessing and a curse for the young Princess.

   Catalina is forced to live in poverty by the King.  She sits in a little home with a small amount of ladies to care for her.  In this time she is trying to work out her plan to keep her promise to her late husband.  She was born to be the Queen of England and she is going to die trying, nothing will stop her from doing God's will.

    King Henry VII is left a widow and needs to take a new wife, when he comes up with a plan to keep the dowry owed by the Spanish and Catalina.  He plans to take her for his new wife, but this will not work for the young Princess.  She wants to be Queen of England, she was born to be Queen of England.  After some more time waiting in poverty, her chance finally comes.

   King Henry VII passes away and leave his second son, Henry, Prince of Wales, the throne.  King Henry VIII honors his betrothal to his brother's widow.  He marries Catalina, Infanta of Spain, making her the new Queen of England.

    Queen Katherine has a long road ahead of her, she must keep her young husband in line and she must produce a son.  Not only does she have these tasks ahead of her, she must also fight to make the England that she and Arthur had dreamed of.

   This was a fantastic read about Katherine, Queen of England, first wife of Henry VIII.  Many know how this history ends, Philippa Gregory gives us a little more on Katherine, Queen of England.  Katherine of Aragon was a strong woman, she was even stronger than we thought.  A must read for anyone interested in the Tudors.


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