Ghost Queens: Katherine of Aragon

queen katherine

King Henry VIII,
to six wives he was wedded.
One died, one survived,
two divorced, two beheaded.

Henry VIII is perhaps the most infamous king in English history. The fickle Henry married six times in his 55 years, but could never seem to find the happiness he craved. Though his wives tried their best to please him, Henry was a cruel and difficult man who thought nothing of forsaking those close to him.

Given the heartbreak the king left in his wake, it’s hardly surprising that each of Henry’s wives reportedly haunt the English palaces they once called home. This is the story of Katherine of Aragon.

Katherine of Aragon

Six Wives of Henry VIII

The Spanish Katherine of Aragon was Henry’s first, and longest-lasting, wife. The two were married for 24 years and had several children, but only a daughter survived. Longing for a male heir, Henry appealed to the pope for an annulment, but was refused. After a protracted legal battle that ultimately failed, King Henry declared himself head of the English church, ruled his marriage to Katherine was invalid (as she had been his brother’s wife first) and married the young and enchanting Anne Boleyn. Henry then banished the heartbroken Katherine to Kimbolton Castle where she died three years later. Some say she’s still there.

A Queen’s Ghost

Kimbolton was originally a medieval castle but is now a co-ed boarding school. Though the floor levels have changed since Katherine’s time, her royal ghost apparently hasn’t noticed. According to some reports, Katherine’s spirit now walks between two levels, head and shoulders gliding along the floor of one level, while her torso and legs drift along the ceiling of the level below. Other accounts say a gaunt-looking Katherine haunts the room of her death. Could the stories be true?

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