Thursday, January 08, 2009

Question from Mary Ann - Catherine of Aragon's tomb

Why does Catherine of Aragon's tomb at Peterborough Cathedral say "Katharine the Queen" on it? When was that added? Thanks for your help!


  1. I believe it was added by Mary II, queen to George V.

  2. Antonia Fraser in her work on the six wives notes that George V’s consort, Mary of Teck, ensured the gold lettering above Katherine’s grave. I don’t know why the name ‘Katharine’ was endorsed; it may have been based on a reading of a selection of Katherine’s letters (IIRC in her final letter to Henry VIII she signs herself as ‘Katharine’), or perhaps there was no significant reason but instead just a general preference for that spelling. Katherine did not always sign her name as ‘Katharine’ though (as a letter she addressed to Wolsey that is held in the National Archives, confirms).

  3. Thanks for the answers! Does anyone know why this was done?

  4. I think it was done because the people who did it recognized her as the true wife of Henry VIII, making her the true queen.


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