The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

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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.

About Philippa Gregory

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Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website,
Published December 6, 2005 by Touchstone. 416 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Constant Princess

Kirkus Reviews

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Catalina, the Infanta of Spain, daughter of Ferdinand and warrior queen Isabella, was never meant for Henry.

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Publishers Weekly

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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.

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Probably the slowest book in Philippa Gregory’s Tudor series, ‘Constant Princess’ starts at the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign (actually more like the last third of his father’s, Henry VII, rule).

Dec 10 2009 | Read Full Review of The Constant Princess (Boleyn)


The novel highlights her life in Spain, her short time as the Princess of Wales, and her relationships with her parents, Prince Arthur, King Henry VII, and Henry VIII.

Aug 20 2009 | Read Full Review of The Constant Princess (Boleyn)

Book Reporter

When I heard that Philippa Gregory's new novel focuses on the life of Katherine of Aragon from the Tudor period of England, I knew I had to have it.

Dec 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Constant Princess (Boleyn)

Entertainment Weekly

Philippa Gregory's story is as ambitious as its main character, Catalina, iron-willed daughter of Spanish crusaders King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Dec 07 2005 | Read Full Review of The Constant Princess (Boleyn)

Suite 101

Lawrence's classic contains a very peculiar ending for an early 20th century novel.

May 07 2012 | Read Full Review of The Constant Princess (Boleyn)


I couldn’t resist the juxtaposition of this review of a historical novel about Katherine of Aragon and yesterday’s review of a historical novel about Thomas Cromwell.

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The sweeping descriptions of life in Spain along with the political intrigue of the English court make for a suspenseful and fast-moving read.ProsThe Constant Princess reads easily and quickly but is also a substantial, interesting novel.Gregory is a skilled writer who creates complex, sympatheti...

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