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A portrait of Catherine of Aragon comes to life in a gallery and talks to the night time security guard about her life. Catherine's parents, Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon, fought for many years to bring Spain together. They educated their daughter in fine Catholic tradition and planned for her to marry the King of England. In November 1501, Catherine married Arthur, the eldest son of Henry VII and the heir to the throne. Both Catherine and Arthur were 15 years old. Five months later, Arthur died. Henry VIII became king and chose Catherine to be his queen. Henry was a good catch. He was handsome, talented and athletic. They were married on 11 June 1509. Catherine's destiny was fulfilled but Henry’s was not. He wanted and needed a son. Henry became disappointed with Catherine when she did not provide him with a son and heir.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
28 September 2007

Classroom Ideas

When learning about the Tudors, this clip helps tell history from the perspective of Catherine of Aragon. Can be used as part of a lesson on creating a Tudor family tree, or line of succession diagram. This could then help pupils to relate to the clip's suggestion that a key consideration in marriage and the lives of nobles was the need for a right to the throne and the bearing of a son.
It would be great to support and stimulate cross-curricular learning such as characterisation in written English and in drama. Good links could be made between art and historical portraits and what they can tell us about history.

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