Young Catherine of Aragon


In 1509 Catherine of Aragon was married at the age of 23 to the 18 year old new King of England, Henry VIII. Although she had been previously married to Henry’s older brother Prince Arthur in 1501, the marriage had ended with Arthur’s sudden death less than six months after the wedding. It is well documented that Henry was most taken with his vibrant young bride and that certainly in the early years, theirs was a happy and romantic marriage.

This one-twelfth scale miniature porcelain doll captures the youth and vitality of this young Spanish Princess.

Catherine wears a fashionable costume of around the year 1509/10. Her long trained over-gown of gold patterned silk jacquard is edged in fancy gold and cream brocade. The bodice is open at the front to reveal the pale green silk of her long under-gown and the hand painted gold-edged lace of her cotton shift peeps out from around the neckline. The long hanging sleeves of Catherine’s over-gown are lined with rich cream and gold brocade and rest over the tightly fitted sleeves of her under-gown. More gold edged lace froths at her wrists and coloured crystal ‘ring’s adorn her fingers. 

Around Catherine’s slender neck hangs a long, fine chain and a wide golden necklace encrusted with crystals and pearls. In the centre sits a ruby crystal pendant with the tiniest of drop pearls. Around her waist, Catherine wears a rich, jewel-encrusted belt with golden jewelled filigrees at the top centre front and at the end.

Underneath Catherine wears fine white cotton drawers and lace-edged shift, along with real leather slippers. 

Her pretty and unusual pale auburn hair is emphasised with a typical richly decorated coif along with a black silk hood/veil to signify that she is a married lady.