April 9 – A queen is demoted and the death of Richard Bertie

On this day in Tudor history, 9th April, Catherine of Aragon, who’d been banished from the royal court after opposing her husband King Henry VIII’s plans to annul their marriage, received a visit from a delegation of the king’s councillors. They were there to inform her that she was no longer queen.

Catherine was a tough cookie, though. Even when she was threatened by the king, she did not submit, she carried on calling herself queen right until the end – good for her!

Find out all about this visit, and their subsequent visit in July 1533…

Also on this day in Tudor history, 9th April 1582, Richard Bertie, member of Parliament, evangelical, and second husband of Catherine Willoughby (other married name Brandon), Duchess of Suffolk, died at Bourne in Lincolnshire. He was laid to rest in St James’s Church, Spilsby, with Catherine, who had died in 1580.

Bertie was Catherine’s gentleman usher and the two became close following the death of her sons from sweating sickness.

Find out more about the man Catherine Willoughby chose to marry for love…

You can see their splendid tomb at https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2736462

You can find out more about Catherine Willoughby in this video…

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One thought on “April 9 – A queen is demoted and the death of Richard Bertie”
  1. Katherines stance over her refusal to acknowledge herself as mere dowager princess of Wales is admirable, faced with the threats of punishment from the king, of ruining her relationship with their precious daughter, Henry even used her beloved god against her, she would incur divine wrath he declared but she still would not give in, this most noble and regal lady endured so much from her spiteful husband because she believed she was his true queen, that hundreds of years later even those who are fans of Anne Boleyn, admire her for her courage her dignity and the misplaced love she felt for her unworthy husband, the delegation sent to her that day to inform her she was no longer queen did not have the courage to also tell her she must stop calling herself by the most illustrious title but left it to one of her own servants, she must have scoffed when she was informed after they had gone, but members of her own household still referred to her as queen, so did her friends her daughter, Chapyus her right hand man, Catholic Europe and more important still, when she rode out in her carriages the common people lined the roads and still addressed her as queen, they blew kisses at her they loved her she had been their queen for over two decades, and they hated this wh*re whom their king was trying to displace her with, when Anne Boleyn was pregnant she spitefully demanded Katherines own christening robe which she had brought from Spain, this precious robe was the same one her dead babies had been wrapped in, she had been forced to hand over the Crown Jewels which were her right as consort, and was cruelly separated from her daughter, even when Mary was ill the king refused to allow her to visit her , even her enemies admired her courage, Katherine had the conviction that she was right in her belief she was the kings true wife, the pope years before had sent the dispensation that allowed them to marry, her first husband the young Prince Arthur had tragically died, and Henry was keen to marry his brothers widow, the couple were young merry and in love, now years later the lack of children soured their relationship, the king had always admired and respected her, now she was viewed as a very big thorn in his side, he grew to dislike her heartily because she would not bow to his demands, he wished to marry his mistress the woman he loved deeply and she was ruining his right to marry and have sons, Katherine could not stop the king marrying his new love, Parliament had declared his marriage legal and Anne the true queen, her heirs as the true heirs to the realm, Mary was displaced disinherited and grieved for her mother her lost status, and for the father she still loved, Katherine wept for the king her one true love, she prayed for his soul and Catholic Europe did not acknowledge the kings new marriage and queen, to Chapyus she was still the lady, the concubine, to the people she was merely the kings wh*re Katherine spent the last years of her life in lonely exile with only her faith to strengthen her, still clinging to the belief she was England’s true queen, she died without ever seeing her daughter again, Henry V111 was overjoyed when he heard off her death and declared the threat of war was now over, he and Anne Boleyn are said to have dressed in yellow and they held a party to celebrate, but his subjects did not celebrate they mourned deeply for the woman whom they had loved and revered for over twenty years, to them she was still, had always been their queen, and so they wept and prayed and lit candles in honour of their most gracious lady sovereign, Katherine was buried in Peterborough cathedral she had a service befitting of a dowager princess of England, but hundreds of years later, another Queen consort, Queen Mary of Teck, the wife of George V acknowledged her status as a once Queen consort of England, and had a plaque above her tomb acknowledging her as such, in tribute to her tourists lay pomegranates at her tomb her national emblem, Katherine herself would no doubt be pleased that her proper title was restored to her at long last.

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