Online and more compact, all you need to know about Peterborough’s Katharine of Aragon Festival
The Festival - which usually includes a variety of events at the Cathedral and at Peterborough Museum over the last weekend in January - marks the date on which Henry VIII’s first wife was buried at Peterborough Abbey, after her death in exile at Kimbolton Castle.
Whilst it is online and more compact this year, it will nonetheless include a variety of activities for all ages – whether you are a knowledgeable Tudor enthusiast, simply want to pay your respects, or are encouraging younger members of your family to learn about Katharine of Aragon for the first time.
The Dean, Chris Dalliston, said: “We may not be able to get together in person at present but it remains important to mark the anniversary of Katharine of Aragon’s burial here in Peterborough all those years ago.
“She was a person of great steadfastness and faith at a critical point in our nation’s history, and no stranger to the confinement and isolation that we experience something of today.
“ We are delighted that Sarah Gristwood will be our speaker, and also very much looking forward to seeing the colourful pomegranates sent in by schools and families via our social media.”
For more information about the Katharine of Aragon festival programme, visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/katharine.aspx.
Wreath Laying Ceremony and Prayers (pre-recorded)Service at Katharine’s tomb
9.30am, Friday, January 29
The Dean of Peterborough, Chris Dalliston, will lead this dignified ceremony of prayers at Katharine of Aragon’s tomb, where tributes will be laid.
There will be a reading from the bible in Katharine’s native Spanish, and her last letter to Henry will be read.
The pre-recorded ceremony will be available to view at any time from 9.30am , via Facebook and YouTube.
Vespers (pre-recorded): Lay Clerks singing in the choir stalls
5.30pm, Friday, January 29
A service with music from the sixteenth century, in a form that would have been familiar to Katharine of Aragon and sung by members of Peterborough Cathedral Choir.
The service will be pre-recorded and scheduled to go live via Facebook and YouTube at the appointed time.
The Spanish Queen: Katharine of Aragon and her Continental Family
7.30pm on Friday, January 29 (SOLD OUT); 4.00pm on Saturday, January 30
An online talk (via Zoom) by Sarah Gristwood, author of ‘Game of Queens’.
Sarah will explore the pressures and powers at work in Katharine’s family. These pressures came not just through her mother Isabella of Castille but also in the light of the times in which she lived, where large parts of Europe were under a reigning queen or female regent.
Sarah’s talk will examine how Katharine’s fierce loyalty to Spain during her early years in England changed during her marriage to Henry into a strong allegiance to the English cause, switching back after the annulment to renew old loyalties to her powerful European relatives.
It is scheduled to last 45-50 minutes, including questions.
Sarah Gristwood is a journalist, biographer, historian and novelist. Her work has been published in most of the UK’s leading newspapers. Amongst the numerous books she has published are two bestselling Tudor biographies, Arabella: England’s Lost Queen and Elizabeth and Leicester.
Sarah is in demand as a media commentator on royal and historical affairs and has contributed to a number of TV documentaries on cinema and fashion, as well as history and the monarchy.
Tickets are £5 per viewing and pre-booking is essential via the cathedral website.
Could you make a pomegranate fit for a queen?
That’s what Peterborough Cathedral is inviting you to do for the Katharine of Aragon Festival this weekend.
Two new videos have been made inviting schools and families to get involved in the festival.
The first video features “Old Scarlett” the Tudor gravedigger, who tells all about his job and shows the way to Katharine’s tomb.
In the second video you can find out why the pomegranate was Katharine’s special symbol, and learn how to make one at home.
The pomegranate is Queen Katharine’s special symbol and people leave them on her tomb in Peterborough Cathedral to show their respect for her.
Although people can’t visit Katharine of Aragon’s tomb in the Cathedral at the moment due to lockdown, children and families are invited to make a pomegranate using materials they may have at home. Then, once it is finished, post a photo or video of it on social media using the hashtag #pom21.
You could tag in any of the cathedral’s social media accounts: Facebook @PeterboroughCathedral, Twitter @pborocathedral, and Instagram @peterborough_cathedral
Judges will look at all the entries received before 9.00am on Monday, February 1, and pick the best entry to receive a prize of art materials.
So, what are you waiting for?
To make your pomegranate, you will need to download a Pomegranate Template from the cathedral website where you will find short video demonstrating how to make your pomegranate: