23 June 1509 – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s Coronation Procession

Thomas More’s “Coronation Suite”, a collection of poems in Latin written especially for Henry VIII’s coronation.
Thomas More’s “Coronation Suite”, a collection of poems in Latin written especially for Henry VIII’s coronation.

On Saturday 23rd June, the eve of the coronation, Henry and his new queen, Catherine of Aragon, processed through London, from the Tower to Westminster. The procession started at 4pm, and consisted of the Knights of the Bath dressed in splendid blue gowns followed by Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who had been made Constable of England for the day, was richly dressed and carrying a silver baton to denote his special office, followed by the King.

The Chronicler Edward Hall describes how the streets were hung with tapestries and arras, “and the greate parte, of the South side of Chepe, with clothe of gold, and some parte of Cornehill also.” The young King wore a robe of crimson velvet, trimmed with ermine, a jacket of cloth of gold decorated with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, pearls and other precious stones. His horse was dressed with ermine and cloth-of-gold, and the canopy held over him by the four barons of the Cinque Ports was also made of cloth-of-gold. Following Henry came his master of the horse, Sir Thomas Brandon, brother of Charles Brandon, who led the King’s charger, and then came the Queen’s procession led by the Queen herself, reclining in a litter covered by a decorative canopy.

Catherine of Aragon wore her auburn hair loose down her back, as was customary at coronations, and Edward Hall describes it as “of a very great length, bewtefull and goodly to behold.” She was “richely appareled in Tissues, clothe of Golde, Siluer, Tynsels, And Velvetes Embroudered” with a coronet “set with many riche orient stones.” Her litter was borne by two white palfreys “trapped in White clothe of Gold”. Behind the Queen, processed a train which included her husband’s former wet-nurse, Anne Luke. Giles Tremlett writes that “even the draught harnesses were speckled with ermine and cloth of gold”.

Taken from On This Day in Tudor History by Claire Ridgway.

Notes and Sources

  • Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII – Chapter 18 “Married Again”
  • Halls Chronicle, Edward Hall, p507-510

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2 thoughts on “23 June 1509 – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon’s Coronation Procession”
  1. With a tall, young, athletic and handsome young King like Henry and his golden haired Queen at his side; it must have seemed that the secong monarch of the new Tudor dynasty was not just very secure on his throne; but was about to launch a true and brilliant golden age. ;what promise the coronation of a new monarch often brings, and what sadness life follows. A very happy day wished to both Catherine and Henry o this the start of their long life together and this joint and glorious coronation.

    1. Yes, the majestic 18-year old King Henry VIII was a sight to behold and inspired great expectations for the future of the realm. Who could have predicted the ogre he would eventually become.

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