Profile of the Day: Catherine of Aragon
On January 7, 1536, Catherine of Aragon died at the age of 50. She was the first wife of King Henry VIII of England and the mother of Mary I of England, who succeeded to the throne after the death of her half-brother Edward VI. In 1533, unhappy that their marriage had produced no surviving male heir, Henry VIII sought to have their marriage annulled. When the pope refused, Henry VIII broke free from the Roman Catholic Church, declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved his marriage to Catherine. Although she was banished from court, Catherine continued to consider herself the King’s rightful wife and Queen.
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