3 July 1533 – Catherine, stop calling yourself queen!


Catherine of Aragon by Unknown artistWell, that’s what Thomas Cromwell’s instructions to William Blount, 4th Baron Mountjoy and Catherine of Aragon’s Chamberlain, on this day in 1533 amounted to. King Henry VIII was now married to Anne Boleyn, and so had a new queen consort, and “As the King cannot have two wives he cannot permit the Dowager to persist in calling herself by the name of Queen, especially considering how benignantly and honorably she has been treated in the realm.” Catherine was to stop using the title of “queen” and, instead, was “to satisfy herself with the name of Dowager”.

But Catherine believed that she was still married to Henry VIII, she had made her vows before God, and even though the king had set her aside she was not going to relinquish either her title or her marriage. Catherine refused to comply with the instructions passed on to her, that was that.

You can read Cromwell’s letter to Mountjoy and an account of what happened when Mountjoy delivered these instructions to Catherine in my article 3 July 1533 – Catherine of Aragon Told to Stop Calling Herself Queen.

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One thought on “3 July 1533 – Catherine, stop calling yourself queen!”
  1. What a cheek! Did Henry, who knew how stubborn and how determined in the righteousness of her title and her coronation Katherine was? Henry had lived with her determination and refusal to accept the divorce for years, so he should have been prepared for this kind of reaction. For one thing Katherine could not have been lost on the recent coronation of Anne Boleyn, even though she was away from court, she also must have known that the court in Dunstable had declared her own marriage null and void, plus confirmed that Henry was lawfully married to Anne. The council in Rome had however declared for Katherine. She had her confirmation that she was right all along in black and white so why should she stop calling herself Queen?

    I think that even though Katherine was ill she was brave and sure of her rights and position. Even before the drama of the delegation meeting and being insistent that she is not to return to the King or call herself Queen she states that her conscience will not accept allow her not to renounce her lawful and sacred claim as queen. Katherine also prayed for the King and his soul and conscience as her husband and will not condemn his soul. She takes the paper and strikes out the title Dowager Princess of Wales. What a woman, good for her. Go Katherine, you tell them, gal!!!!

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