Catherine of Aragon was a devout Roman Catholic, To her, marriage was a sacred act. She determined to fight for her marriage and her daughter, Mary, as an annulment might damage Mary’s future.  Catherine became a very active resistor against an annulment – much to the surprise of Henry who had expected her not to support it but to be very much passive in her approach.

She wrote a steady string of letters to the Pope, Clement VII, and to Charles V explaining her stance and asking that they back her. There is little doubt that she had the support of many of the public who saw her as being virtuous. She made a very personal plea to Henry in 1529, getting down on her knees and begging him not to go ahead with the annulment. It was to no avail.

Despite her objections to an annulment, Catherine never said or wrote anything from 1529 to 1533 that was openly critical of Henry. After the annulment was pushed through, Henry ordered that Catherine should have the title Dowager Duchess of Wales.   He tried to remove her from the public eye by banishing her to a series of castles and estates and forbidding her to see their daughter. Her final resting place was Kimbolton Castle doing penance and refusing to leave her room, except for prayer. She died, age 50, of cancer. Neither Henry nor Anne attended her funeral, and he forbade Mary to attend.