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Monday, July 1, 2019

the story of a King & his marriage ! (not Chola King) but British King

Some dust has been raised with ill-intended speech on Raja Raja Cholan (Arul Mozhi Varman) – a great Chola Emperor.  Tinseldom has changed – in 1973 came the first Cinemascope movie with Sivaji Ganesan in lead role on ‘King Raja Raja Cholan’.   Kunnakudi Vaidhyanathan composed the music for the film.  It was reported that the prints of the movie   were taken to theatres atop an elephant. In Tiruchirappalli, fans hired a helicopter and showered flower petals on the print, The Hindu said.  In schools, we read more of British history .. here is something on a British  King, his marriage and more .. ..

In good olden days, marriage proposals floated between Kingdoms, ensuring peace and harmony amongst them and expansion of territory.  The Treaty of Medina del Campo was an agreement developed in 1489 between England and the nascent Spain. The treaty was made up of twenty-six clauses. The first sixteen dealt with military, economic, and political relations between England and Spain.The seventeenth clause consisted on the marriage between Catherine and Arthur, while the next ten clauses covered the financial settlement, succession, and Catherine's journey arrangements to England.  Its provisions accomplished three goals: the establishment of a common policy for the two countries regarding France, the reduction of tariffs between the two countries, and, most centrally, the arrangement of a marriage contract between Arthur Tudor, eldest son of Henry VII of England, and Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon.

Arthur Tudor (1486 – 1502) was Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester and Duke of Cornwall. As the eldest son and heir-apparent of Henry VII of England, Arthur was viewed by contemporaries as the great hope of the newly established House of Tudor. His mother, Elizabeth of York, was the daughter of Edward IV, and his birth cemented the union between the House of Tudor and the House of York.Plans for Arthur's marriage began before his third birthday; he was installed as Prince of Wales two years later. At the age of eleven, he was formally betrothed to Catherine of Aragon, a daughter of the powerful Catholic Monarchs in Spain, in an effort to forge an Anglo-Spanish alliance against France. Soon after his marriage to Catherine in 1501, the couple took up residence at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire, where Arthur died six months later of an unknown ailment. Catherine would later firmly state that the marriage had not been consummated.

An year after Arthur's death, Henry VII renewed his efforts of sealing a marital alliance with Spain by arranging for Catherine to marry Arthur's younger brother Henry, who had by then become Prince of Wales. Arthur's untimely death paved the way for Henry's accession as Henry VIII in 1509. The question as to the potential consummation of Arthur and Catherine's marriage was much later (and in a completely different political context) exploited by Henry and his court to cast doubt on the validity of Catherine's union with Henry, eventually leading to the separation between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.

Catherine of Aragon (Spanish: Catalina;  1485 –  1536) was Queen of England from June 1509 until May 1533 as the first wife of King Henry VIII; she was previously Princess of Wales as the wife of Henry's elder brother Arthur.  Her betrothal with Arthur, Prince of Wales took place when she was 3 years of age !the marriage was to happen in her 16 –For that marriage, a dowry of 200,000 ducats had been agreed, and half was paid shortly after the marriage. Immediately after marriage whilst their stay at  Castle Lodge, both became ill, possibly with the sweating sickness, which was sweeping the area. Arthur died leaving Catherine, a widow. At this point, Henry VII faced the challenge of avoiding the obligation to return her 200,000 ducat dowry, half of which he had not yet received, to her father, as required by her marriage contract should she return home. Following the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1503, King Henry VII initially considered marrying Catherine himself, but the opposition of her father and potential questions over the legitimacy of the couple's issue ended the idea. To settle the matter, it was agreed that Catherine would marry Henry VII's second son, Henry, Duke of York, who was five years younger than she was. She held the position of ambassador of the Aragonese Crown to England in 1507, the first female ambassador in European history.  At 24, she subsequently married Arthur's younger brother, the recently ascended Henry VIII, in 1509. For six months in 1513, she served as regent of England while Henry VIII was in France. During that time the English won the Battle of Flodden, an event in which Catherine played an important part with an emotional speech about English courage !

She was to see more turns in life .. .. by 1525, Henry VIII  infatuated with Anne Boleyn and dissatisfied that his marriage to Catherine had produced no surviving sons, leaving their daughter, the future Mary I of England, as heir presumptive at a time when there was no established precedent for a woman on the throne. He sought to have their marriage annulled, setting in motion a chain of events that led to England's schism with the Catholic Church. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry defied him by assuming supremacy over religious matters. In 1533 their marriage was consequently declared invalid and Henry married Anne on the judgement of clergy in England, without reference to the Pope. Catherine refused to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England and considered herself the King's rightful wife and queen, attracting much popular sympathy. Despite this, she was acknowledged only as Dowager Princess of Wales by Henry. After being banished from court, she lived out the remainder of her life at Kimbolton Castle, and died there on 7 January 1536. English people held Catherine in high esteem, and her death set off tremendous mourning.

The controversial book The Education of a Christian Woman by Juan Luis Vives, which claimed women have the right to an education, was commissioned by and dedicated to her.   Written in 1523, the book was originally published in Latin with the title of De InstitutioneFeminaeChristianae and was dedicated to Catherine of Aragon. The work was translated into English by Richard Hyrde around 1529.

King Henry was to marry many a times more .. .. .. a mnemonic device to remember the names of Henry’s consorts was  “Arrogant Boys Seem Clever, Howard Particularly”; a mnemonic for their fates is "Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived". King Henry VIII,To six wives he was wedded.One died, one survived,Two divorced, two beheaded.In common parlance, the wives of Henry VIII were the six queens consort wedded to Henry between 1509 and his death in 1547.In legal terms, King Henry VIII of England had only three wives, because three of his putative marriages were annulled. Unlike a divorce, where a married couple chooses to end their union, annulments essentially declare that a true marriage never took place.

History makes more interesting reading that fiction books and movies !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th June 2019.

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