This day in history, the 22nd February 1511, was a sad day for Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon as it was the day that their 52 day old son, Henry, Duke of Cornwall, died suddenly. He was the second child of Henry and Catherine – his sister was born dead on the 31st January 1510, due to being 3 months premature.

Henry’s birth on the 1st January 1511 was greeted with much joy and celebration. Henry VIII had a son and heir, the Tudor line was secure, and he celebrated by naming his baby son the Duke of Cornwall. Unfortunately “Little Prince Hal” (also known as “The New Year’s Boy”), the future Prince of Wales and future king, did not even make his first birthday. We can only imagine the grief felt by his parents when he died on the 22nd February.

Princess Mary, the future Mary I, was the only child born to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to survive childhood and it was Catherine’s miscarriages and stillbirths, her inability to provide Henry with a son and heir, that led to Henry believing that the marriage was cursed, breaking with Rome, getting the marriage annulled and marrying Anne Boleyn. How different things would have been if Little Prince Hal had survived!

Click here to read more about Catherine of Aragon’s pregnancies.

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3 thoughts on “The Death of Henry, Duke of Cornwall”
  1. How devastated the two of them must have felt! History would have definitely been a lot different had the little prince survived…does anyone know where they laid to rest the royal children that did not make it?

  2. Catherine Trastamara of Aragon as she was fully known was quenn consort and first wife of King Henry VIII.Catherine was put under the most pressure above of all of Henry’s wives to produce a son and heir hence all of the failed pregnancys that would untimely and unlimitedly follow and as a result only producing one healthy child a daughter sadly for her aswell as Henry of course.
    I cannot say for sure where the stillborn aswell as the child that was born premature.(In my eyes) children of Catherine Of Aragon lay but obviously they would have been wrapped in cloth and buried in a pit nearby or perhaps within Westminster Abbey beneath the grounds.
    I feel that the child who secondly survived the longest which was a boy who lived for a few weeks and was named Henry after his father I am sure was a premature child and if it had been today I am almost certain that he would have been saved via an incubator.As it seems to me that this child had been born a few weeks or even months too early.

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