My masters dissertation was a detailed study of the nine most important state occasions of Henry VII. A comprehensive study of these nine particular events had not been done. Yet these event are important aspects to understanding how Henry Tudor asserted his claim and control, which is why I took on the topic.
These nine events were the coronation of Henry VII, the marriage of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, the coronation of Elizabeth of York, the celebration of Prince Henry Duke of York, the marriage of Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon, the betrothal of Princess Margaret and James of Scotland, the funeral of Prince Arthur, the funeral of Elizabeth of York, and the betrothal of Princess Mary and Charles of Castile.
So why am I telling you this?
Ever since I handed in my dissertation back in September I have been itching to visit some of the locations of these nine great state occasions. That is where Worcester Cathedral comes in.
When Prince Arthur died in 1502 at Ludlow Castle it was a massive blow to the Tudor Dynasty. The dynasty was still establishing itself. Bringing the body back to London would provide unwanted attention to the vulnerability of the crown. So, an alternative was quickly brainstormed. Arthur would be buried in a cathedral near his Welsh home. Worcester Cathedral was the only logical choice.
Visiting the tomb of Prince Arthur was a huge moment for me. As a historian who had studied his birth, marriage, and death, I was deeply moved. His tomb is a perfect example of Tudor symbolism, decorated with the red and white roses of the houses of Lancaster and York, arrows of Spain, pomegranates of Granada, and of course the Tudor rose. Prince Arthur is not the only royal buried in Worcester Cathedral. King John is buried close by.
Ps, this is my 200th post! How did that happen???