The Constant Princess

The Constant Princess

Book - 2005
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author and "queen of royal fiction" ( USA TODAY ) Philippa Gregory comes the remarkable story of Katherine of Aragon, Princess of Spain, daughter of two great monarchs, and eventual Queen of England when she marries the infamous King Henry VIII.

Daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, Katherine has been fated her whole life to marry Prince Arthur of England. When they meet and are married, the match becomes as passionate as it is politically expedient. The young lovers revel in each other's company and plan the England they will make together. But tragically, aged only fifteen, Arthur falls ill and extracts from his sixteen-year-old bride a deathbed promise to marry his brother, Henry; become Queen; and fulfill their dreams and her destiny.

Widowed and alone in the avaricious world of the Tudor court, Katherine has to sidestep her father-in-law's desire for her and convince him, and an incredulous Europe, that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated, that there is no obstacle to marriage with Henry. For seven years, she endures the treachery of spies, the humiliation of poverty, and intense loneliness and despair while she waits for the inevitable moment when she will step into the role she has prepared for all her life. Then, like her warrior mother, Katherine must take to the battlefield and save England when its old enemies the Scots come over the border and there is no one to stand against them but the new Queen.
Publisher: London, Eng. : HarperCollins, c2005.
ISBN: 9780743272483
Characteristics: 490 p. ;,24 cm.


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DBRL_KrisA Dec 21, 2019

I knew that Henry VIII had multiple wives, and I knew that he tried to get rid of Katherine of Aragon because he wanted to get with Anne Boleyn. I think I even knew he tried to claim Katherine wasn't a virgin before their marriage, as a way to claim the marriage was invalid.
But I didn't know Katherine was married to Henry's brother Arthur beforehand, and that Henry's father, Henry VII, wanted Katherine for himself. And I didn't know that her parents were King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel of Spain, the same ones who financed Christopher Columbus's voyages of discovery. As a boy I learned about all these people and events, but I'm still constantly surprised by the connectedness among them.
This was an entertaining novel based on historical figures. Does the author fudge some of the facts, mess with the order of events, etc.? Yes, but she's up front about it, and it makes for a good story.

Nov 25, 2019

4 1/2 star read. This engrossing book kept me captivated from the beginning to the end. Philippa Gregory out does herself with this book. Catalina of Aragon was raised from her beginnings to not only be the beloved Infanta of Spain, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, but also as the Princess of Wales, the future Queen of England. When she finally gets to England and married Arthur, the Prince of Wales, they are both very young. But a love develops between them, until Arthur dies too young. Left in poverty and ignored, Catalina has to overcome much to put a plan into place to take control of her own life and she succeeds and becomes the wife of her husband's brother Henry. This book tells another side of this story, of her strength, what she had to overcome to accomplish her goals, the help she was to Henry as he matured into adulthood., her statecraft and experience in war helping to save England. This was a very interesting read. I enjoyed getting to know another side of the traditional way of looking at Katherine of Aragon. A very good read.

Mar 25, 2019

The Spanish Princess TV show, out in May 2019, is an adaptation that combines two of Philippa Gregory’s bestselling novels — The Constant Princess and The King’s Curse. The Constant Princess tells the story of Spanish royal Catherine’s arrival in England and marriage to Henry VIII’s elder brother, Prince Arthur, while The King’s Curse tells the tale of the rise and fall of Tudor cousin Lady Margaret Pole.

BPLNextBestAdults Feb 23, 2012

This novel highlights the life of Queen Katherine of Aragon prior to her infamous marriage to Henry VIII of England. We first meet Katherine as a young girl in Spain, who adores her parents the powerful Queen Isabella of Castille and King Ferdinand of Aragon. Always at her mother’s side, Katherine becomes accustomed to the strategies of war, and brutal fighting in the name of God. With her early betrothal to Prince Arthur, Henry’s older brother, Katherine grows up in Spain with the dreams of one day becoming the powerful Queen of England and learns from her mother the constant dedication it takes. When the time comes to marry Arthur, the two join forces to reign over the English empire. Sadly, a terminal illness takes Arthur from Katherine just 5 months into their marriage and this is when Katherine falls out of the court's favour. Katherine remains constant to her self-fulfilled prophecy and eventually marries Henry and does indeed become the Queen of England. As usual, Gregory fills this story with relevant historical references, while infusing the story with romance and intrigue.

Nov 11, 2011

I enjoyed this book and read it before the "Other Boleyn Girl". It put the history in accurate order. I enjoyed it as much as the "Other Boleyn Girl."

Mar 07, 2011

I was not amused by this book. I'd say one star at most. The text jumped back and forth between italicised and normal print, something I find pretensious and laboured. But, most of all, I dis-liked this author's in-your-face arrogance in laying out the contents of Katherine's mind in diary form. This amounts to "tell" rather than "show." and I found it tiresome in the extreme. The diary was repetitive and without interest - but it went on and on for 500 pages and I found myself skipping frantically ahead for anything of interest. Alas, a nusrse book craftily disguised. If you want a female story that really rings true try Bronte's Jane Eyre.

Dec 23, 2010

Fascinating historical fiction. I was ingtrgued with the contrast between the eating habits of Spain and England at the time.

Jul 13, 2010

Great story of Kathrine of Aragon! You always hear of her later life, during the whole Ann Boleyn situation and never her early life. I love the thought that she did everything for her first husband, kept her promise to him even though it cost her in the end. Could be my favorite Philippa Gregory book!

Jan 10, 2010

Not my favourite Philippa Gregory novel, but a great read all the same!

Dec 14, 2009

This is a very intriguing story about Katherine of Aragon when she was Catalina, Infanta of Spain. Other stories about her life focus more on Anne Boleyn and her rise to power, rather than Queen Katherine's early years. I found the love story between Catalina and Arthur to be very sweet, yet tragic. The novel shows Katherine for what she truly was: the strong, warrior daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, not just the neglected yet stoic wife of King Henry. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Tudor story.

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Jun 20, 2013

jurban1983 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 21, 2009

HylaryL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Dec 14, 2009

Tells the story of Queen Katherine of Aragon when she was Catalina, Infanta of Spain. The focus of the novel is on her romance with Prince Arthur, his death, and her fight to marry his younger brother, Prince Harry. It portrays Catalina as a warrior queen, determined to defeat the Scots and put England in a position of power and security. The novel includes very little of her perspective on what happened later in her life with the arrival of Anne Boleyn and her downfall.


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Dec 21, 2009

Sexual Content: Nothing too graphic.


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