Peterborough’s Katharine of Aragon Festival - in video/photos

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History was brought to life last week with the annual Katharine of Aragon Festival in Peterborough.

Children learned about the Tudor period over three days of activities relating to the first of Henry VIII’s six wives.

Katharine of Aragon commemoration service at Peterborough Cathedral attended by the Civic Party, Spanish Embassy representatives and over 400 local schoolchildren EMN-150130-152347009

Katharine of Aragon commemoration service at Peterborough Cathedral attended by the Civic Party, Spanish Embassy representatives and over 400 local schoolchildren EMN-150130-152347009

Commemoration and re-enactment all featured from Friday, 30 January to Sunday, 1 February as people of all ages adorned clothes from the period.

Katharine was banished from the royal court in 1531 and died at Kimbolton Castle in Huntingdonshire.

King Henry instructed that she should be buried at Peterborough Abbey (now the cathedral) on 29 January, 1536.

The festival began with a civic party and representatives from the Spanish Embassy visiting the cathedral for a Service of Commemoration led by Father Adam Sowa, Parish Priest of St Peter and All Souls Roman Catholic Church.

Katharine of Aragon commemoration service at Peterborough Cathedral attended by the Civic Party, Spanish Embassy representatives and over 400 local schoolchildren EMN-150130-151505009

Katharine of Aragon commemoration service at Peterborough Cathedral attended by the Civic Party, Spanish Embassy representatives and over 400 local schoolchildren EMN-150130-151505009

Six schools and 300 pupils also attended the service and Norman Grundy, a pupil at Jack Hunt School, read a Bible reading in Spanish.

Two hundred pupils stayed on for Tudor history workshops in the cathedral during the afternoon.

They learned from different re-enactors about topics including Tudor trade, food and manners, weapons, the life of monks and Tudor healthcare.

In the evening, author Alison Weir visited the cathedral to discuss Katharine’s final years in exile from her king and daughter.

A spokeswoman for the cathedral said: “It was a fascinating talk, packed full of detailed information including a reference to Katharine’s tomb being investigated in the 17th century by drilling into it and extracting a tiny piece of fabric which matched contemporary descriptions of the clothes she was buried in.”

Saturday and Sunday saw Peterborough Museum play host during the day to an event entitled ‘At Home with the Tudors’ which included characters from the period such as monks, a spice merchant and even an executioner.

On Saturday evening, choristers at the cathedral joined choral group, The Sixteen, to perform Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, which was a sell-out concert attended by around 600 people.

What did you think of the festival?

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