Between Kings and Emperors: Catherine of Aragon as Counsellor and Mediator
Catherine of Aragon is often seen as loyal to her Spanish dynasty at all costs, but that loyalty has been over-emphasized by historians focused on the divorce conflict of the 1520s and 1530s. During most of her career as queen, she successfully negotiated her loyalties to both her marital and natal dynasties. Catherine was intimately involved in Anglo-Spanish diplomacy before she married Henry VIII, becoming her father Ferdinand’s accredited ambassador to the English court in 1507. When she became queen of England in 1509, Catherine continued to support the Anglo-Spanish alliance, but she did not blindly advocate for Spanish diplomatic objectives. Catherine used a traditional queenly mode of influence—mediation—to preserve the English and Spanish alliance her marriage had cemented.
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