A splendid and sumptuous historical novel from the internationally bestselling author, Philippa Gregory, telling of the early life of Katherine of Aragon.
I was born a princess, destined to be queen, and I know my duty.
1491. Henry VII’s eldest son Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales, has been betrothed since childhood to the Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. Their marriage will cement the alliance Henry Tudor craves to secure his country.
But when Arthur’s sudden death leaves an 11-year-old boy heir to the kingdom, Henry Tudor must choose whether to send Katherine back to Spain, or to marry her himself. Katherine has no son from her brief marriage to secure her future; her substantial dowry and his powerful contract are at stake.
Henry has reckoned without the determination of a young woman set on fulfilling her own destiny to be a queen – and the ambition of Prince Harry, the future Henry VIII.
‘One of Gregory's great strengths as a novelist is her ability to take familiar historical figures and flesh them into living breathing human beings. The Constant Princess is a worthy successor to her previous novels about the Tudors’ Daily Express
‘Gregory's research is impeccable which makes her imaginative fiction all the more convincing’ Daily Mail
‘Gregory is great at conjuring a Tudor film-set of gorgeous gowns and golden-lattered dining. She invokes some swoonsome images…while the politics are personal enough to remain pertinent’ DailyTelegraph
About the author
Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the internationally bestselling novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which became a major film starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. Her Cousins’ War novels were the basis for the highly successful BBC series, The White Queen.
Philippa’s other great interest is the charity that she founded twenty years ago: Gardens for The Gambia. She has raised funds and paid for over 200 wells in the primary schools of this poor African country.
Philippa is a former student of Sussex University and a PhD and Alumna of the Year 2009 of Edinburgh University. In 2016, she was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to Historical Fiction Award by the Historical Writers' Association. Her love for history and commitment to historical accuracy are the hallmarks of her writing. Philippa lives with her family on a small farm in Yorkshire and welcomes visitors to her site www.PhilippaGregory.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
As youngest daughter to the Spanish monarchs and crusaders King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Catalina, princess of Wales and of Spain, was promised to the English Prince Arthur when she was three. She leaves Spain at 15 to fulfill her destiny as queen of England, where she finds true love with Arthur (after some initial sourness) as they plot the future of their kingdom together. Arthur dies young, however, leaving Catalina a widow and ineligible for the throne. Before his death, he extracts a promise from his wife to marry his younger brother Henry in order to become queen anyway, have children and rule as they had planned, a situation that can only be if Catalina denies that Arthur was ever her lover. Gregory's latest (after Earthly Joys) compellingly dramatizes how Catalina uses her faith, her cunning and her utter belief in destiny to reclaim her rightful title. By alternating tight third-person narration with Catalina's unguarded thoughts and gripping dialogue, the author presents a thorough, sympathetic portrait of her heroine and her transformation into Queen Katherine. Gregory's skill for creating suspense pulls the reader along despite the historical novel's foregone conclusion.
Another excellent read
My favourite author does it again fascinating look into the life of the true queen
A True Queen, an incredible woman
It hard to even imagine the fierce grooming children of monarchs went through in when princes ruled supreme. Queen Katherine of Aragon's parents, both mighty royal rulers in their own right bred a queen from the moment she was born. They took their power, position and responsibility seriously and expected their heirs to do the same. Out of this a fiercely wonderful queen was produced, one who would live a life of little choice but great and grave responsibility. A life full of waiting, heartache and later betrayal but with a staunch belief in herself and her role within the kingdom and her family.
This story will enter your heart and you will hope and dream and ache with Katherine and feel sheer bewilderment at the gall of the Tudor Kings. This incredible story is the beginning of the epic Tudor reign of which many only remember the end. But the beginning foretold Henry would have a battle as his first wife was not a mere woman of the time but a True Queen.