Join Publishing Director Morgan Farr as she shares about Katherine of Aragon: Military Wife of Unwavering Faith and how she impacted Christian and military cultures.
Katherine of Aragon: Military Wife of Unwavering Faith
by Morgan Farr
At first glance, a Renessaince queen seems an unlikely addition to our Women of the Word Wednesday posts. But Katherine of Aragon was a truly exceptional woman.
Before becoming the Queen of England, Katherine was the youngest daughter of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. Her parents were at war throughout most of her childhood. Katherine was familiar with military action. She used her understanding of court jockeying to stay a step ahead. When her first husband died, leaving her destitute in England, Katherine became Ambassador to Spain. In 1507, Katherine became the first female ambassador in European history.
King Henry VIII waged wars on several fronts at the same time. Katherine of Aragon actively supported her husband’s military endeavors, showcasing her strength, leadership, and dedication to her adopted country.
During Henry VIII’s campaign in France in 1513, Katherine, as regent, displayed her political acumen by maintaining domestic stability and ensuring the smooth operation of government affairs. Katherine’s influential role as a regent in her husband’s absence further highlighted her leadership capabilities.
During Henry VIII’s military ventures and diplomatic missions, Katherine assumed regency, effectively governing the realm and ensuring its stability. Her regency provided a model for future queens and female leaders, showcasing the significant contributions women could make to governance and national affairs.
Katherine’s unwavering support extended to the battlefield itself.
When the Scottish army, led by King James IV, threatened England’s northern borders, Katherine rode to the front lines at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Her presence bolstered the troops’ morale and demonstrated her commitment to defending England.
When Henry VIII sought an annulment of their marriage, Katherine’s refusal to consent was rooted in her conviction and unwavering commitment to her belief in the sanctity of marriage. The steadfast defense of her marriage against Henry’s efforts to annul it showcased her courage, determination, and loyalty to her faith.
Even after her divorce from Henry VIII and the annulment of their marriage by the Church of England, Katherine continued to refer to herself as the true queen and wife of Henry, refusing to acknowledge Anne Boleyn as the rightful queen. Her unwavering stance became a symbol of resistance against religious change and an inspiration to those who shared her faith.
Katherine of Aragon’s contributions to military life and the religious community had a lasting impact on England and Europe. Her resilience and support during military campaigns inspired loyalty and dedication among the English troops and citizens. Her unwavering devotion to her faith is an incredible example for us today.
Notes and Resources
- Why we care about Christian women in military history.
- Read all of our Women of the Word Wednesday posts here.
- Katherine of Aragon | Hampton Court Palace
- 12 little-known facts about Catherine of Aragon
- Katherine of Aragon – The Tudor Society