‘I am Catalina, Princess of Spain, daughter of the two greatest monarchs the world has ever known…and I will be Queen of England.’
The Constant Princess delves into a story untold, depicting the life of Catherine of Aragon, born the Infanta of Spain and later becoming the first in a long line of wives to the notorious Henry VIII. Classically known only as a stuffy and infertile bride, history often neglects to tell Catherine’s story before and after Henry; her first marriage and, as the book suggests, one true love, Arthur Tudor, and her fight to the grave to retain her perceived birthright, the title of Queen of England.
When Arthur dies prematurely Catherine proves herself to be every inch the daughter of the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, fighting to claim the English throne as her own by securing her betrothal to Henry, the next in line to be king. This was a feat made all the more impressive by the fierce resistance from both King Henry VII and his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, and the fact she had been left abandoned and desolate by her own father. Despite this, Catherine triumphs, claiming her rightful place as Queen and asserting herself as a warrior and protector, thus winning the respect and the hearts of the English people.
Gregory, highly acclaimed by popular readership and historians alike, paints a vivid and alluring picture of Catherine’s life, providing a refreshingly illuminating perspective on the hardships and achievements of a once beloved English queen. It is impossible to know how much truth lies in Gregory’s portrayal of Catherine’s secret love affair with her own husband, Arthur, nor in the sacred promise she made to him on his deathbed and kept for the rest of her life. However it nonetheless proves to be an enchanting tale, reigniting the magic and mystery surrounding the life of the youngest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, and helping to ensure that history does not forget Catherine, England’s much- loved constant princess.