On this day in 1510 disaster struck Catherine of Aragon and her first pregnancy. According to her confessor, Fray Diego, after suffering pain in her knee on the night of 30th January, Catherine “brought forth prematurely a daughter” on the morning of 31st January.

Catherine’s biographer, Julia Fox, refers to this pregnancy as “disastrous”, but not because it resulted in a stillborn daughter but because Catherine’s physician led the Queen to believe that she was still pregnant with her dead baby’s twin. Catherine did have “some doubts”, particularly as her periods began again, but her abdomen continued to swell and it’s not hard to understand why Catherine would cling to some hope and put her trust in the physician. We do knot know whether Catherine was suffering from some type of infection or whether it was a phantom pregnancy but no labour followed Catherine’s confinement in March 1510, there was no baby.

You can read more about this heartbreaking time for Catherine in my article “Catherine Goes into Premature Labour – 31st January 1510”

Notes and Sources

  • Sister Queens: The Noble, Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana, Queen of Castile, Julia Fox, Hardback US Version (Ballantine Books), p185-187
  • Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen, Giles Tremlett

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