Once she was churched, Henry and Katherine moved from Richmond to Westminster where Henry hosted a series of tournaments commemorating the birth of his son and his Queen. It was here where Henry became known as ‘Sir Loyal Heart’ and adding to the chivalric tradition which Henry was brought in, he had all of his knights (himself included) wearing the letters ‘H’ and ‘K’ in gold. Riding with the King were Sir Edward Neville (representing Valiant Desire), Sir Thomas Knyvet as Good Hope, and William Earl of Devonshire as Good Valor. They addressed Katherine, congratulating her for the ‘good and gracious fortune of the birth of the young prince that it hath pleased God to send to her and her husband’. Jousts continued for nearly two weeks with Katherine giving prizes after every tourney, and then they stopped when terrible news came from Richmond. Prince Henry, Duke of Cornwall, the king and queen’s firstborn son and one day future king, had died. It is not known what caused his death. There has been many speculation but we can be assured it was nothing out of the ordinary. Sadly, child mortality was very high, and anything from a common cold to an infection could have been responsible for the little prince’s death.
Katherine and Henry took his death really hard. Here was the Prince they hoped would one day succeed his father as King of England. For Katherine, the loss was more devastating because a son helped her husband secure the line of succession and her place by his side. When she was told of her son’s death, Henry went to her side and comforted her and told her what he would one day tell his second wife when she bore him a daughter, that they were still young and they could have more children. And at the time nobody thought differently. Katherine was after all twenty five and Henry nineteen. Not only that, they had also known each other since childhood and Henry still loved her, so the future looked bright.
- Sister Queens: The Noble and Tragic Lives of Katherine of Aragon and Juana of Castile by Julia Fox
- On this Day in Tudor History by Claire Ridgway
- Catherine of Aragon by Garett Mattingly
- Six Wives and the Many Mistresses of Henry VIII by Amy Licence
- Six Wives of Henry VIII by David Starkey