Who was Catherine of Aragon?

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  1. Catherine of Aragon (16 December 1485 – 7 January 1536) also known as Katherine or Katharine; (Spanish Infanta Catalina de Aragón y Castilla or Catalina de Trastámara y Trastámara) was the Queen of England as the first wife of Henry VIII of England, and Princess of Wales by her first marriage to Arthur, Prince of Wales. She was also an Infanta of Castille and Aragon.

    Henry's attempt to have their 24-year marriage annulled set in motion a chain of events that led to England's break with the Roman Catholic Church. Henry was dissatisfied because their sons died in infancy, leaving only one of their six children, Princess Mary (later Queen Mary I) as heiress presumptive, at a time when there was no established precedent for a woman on the throne. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry defied him by assuming supremacy over religious matters. This allowed him to marry Anne Boleyn on the judgment of clergy in England, without reference to the Pope. He was motivated by the hope of fathering a male heir to the Tudor dynasty. Catherine refused to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church of England and considered herself the King's rightful wife and Queen until her death.

    Catherine's contemporaries said that she was "more beloved than any queen who ever reigned". Over the years, numerous artistic and cultural works have been dedicated to her, written about her, or mentioned her, including some by her husband Henry VIII, who wrote "Grene growth the holy" for her, and Juan Luis Vives, who dedicated "The Instituation of Christian Women" to her.

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