“Granada, the red fort that stood above the city to guard it, and the gorgeous palace which was hidden inside the walls—the Alhambra—were given to Ferdinand and to Isabella.” (pg 16)
This is the palace where Catalina grew up after her parents, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, conquered and took this palace from the Moors.
Today, you can visit the Alhambra Palace and walk the same grounds that Catalina grew up in. While in Granada, Spain, it is recommended to travel up to the Alhambra by foot, as it is the most beautiful walk. You will even get to walk through the Justice Gate just as Catalina had. For just 14€ you can get general admission tickets to explore the Alhambra, but 2 things to keep in mind when purchasing these.
1. Buy in advance, it can sell out quickly.
2. Your admission ticket will have a time specified when you can enter. You can ONLY enter at this time, so do not be late!
“Dogmersfield Palace, Hampshire, Autumn 1501.” (pg 23)
Catalina stays here for her seclusion day prior to her wedding to Prince Arthur. King Henry Tudor comes here demanding to see what Catalina looks like, and she ends up meeting Prince Arthur.
Today, the Dogmersfield Palace has been turned into The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire. The hotel is only one hour outside of London, so an easy one night trip to explore Hampshire and surround yourself in the palace where Catalina first met Prince Arthur.
“She did not see the prince again until their wedding day, but when she arrived in the village of Kingston-upon-Thames, her train halted in order to meet the greatest man in the kingdom, the young Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, and Henry, Duke of York, the king’s second son, who were appointed to accompany her to Lambeth Palace.” (pg 35)
The day before Catalina’s wedding to Prince Arthur, she was escorted by the Duke of Buckingham and the Duke of York to the Lambeth Palace. This was her first encounter with Henry, who we know to become a major character later on in the book, and in history.
The Lambeth Palace today, is the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his family. Although you cannot roam into the palace on your own, you can join a guided tour, where you will explore the rooms and chapels of the palace and hear about the history of the Archbishops of Canterbury.
St. Paul's Cathedral
“Prince Harry, the ten-year old duke of York, was so proud of his white taffeta suit that he scarcely glanced at Catalina until they were at the west doors of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and then he turned and stared, trying to see her face through the exquisite lace of the white mantilla.” (pg 44)
St. Paul’s Cathedral is where Catalina was married to Prince Arthur on November 14th, 1501. This is where Prince Harry walked her down the aisle, as he was a young boy.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is now a beautiful landmark in London, siting at the highest point in the city. You can attend worship at the cathedral for free, or if you are just looking to explore the cathedral you can book a visit for £17. While you’re there, saunter down the main aisle to walk the path of Catalina.
“Henry went back to the Whitehall Palace, his face burning and his heart pounding, hammered between frustration and calculation.” (pg 200)
While Catalina was living in Durham House after Prince Arthur’s death, King Henry VII and his son, Prince Harry lived at Whitehall Palace. This is where Catalina was betrothed to Prince Henry.
Today, the only remaining part of Whitehall Palace is the Banqueting House. You can visit for only £7.50. While there, you can lay out on one of their bean bag chairs and gaze up at the ceiling with frescos painted by Dutch artist Peter Paul Rubens. If you have a big event coming up, you can even rent out the venue!
“We were married within the walls of Greenwich Palace in the church of the Friars Observant, with only three witnesses and half a dozen people present.” (pg 260)
This is where Catalina and Prince Harry get married in June 1509.
Unfortunately, you cannot visit the Greenwich Palace as it once stood. The palace was damaged, then temporarily turned into a prisoner of war camp, then into the Naval Hospital, and is now part of University of Greenwich. However, the Queen’s House, which was built in the 17th century, commissioned by King James I, is available to visit today. Tickets are free, and you can visit some of their exhibits like the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth or take their guided tour and learn all about the royal history of Greenwich. During this time of COVID, you can even book a table in a dome and enjoy lunch, dinner or afternoon tea right outside of the Queen’s House.
“The winter sun was low and red over the rounded hills as they rattled through the great gate that pierced the stone wall around Ludlow.” (pg 88)
Prince Arthur and Catalina honeymoon here in 1502. At this point they had forgiven each other for acting cruelly and were falling madly in love with each other. To the point where they would sneak into each other’s rooms at night.
“The summer was here, Catalina was here, but Arthur was cold in the dark vault of Worcester Cathedral.” (pg 161)
This is where Prince Arthur was buried after he passes from “the sweat”.
You can visit Worcester Cathedral today, about 2.5 hours from London by car. While visiting, you can see Prince Arthur’s chantry, which survived to this day, and can be found to the right of the High Altar. While you visit, you can also climb the Cathedral Towerr for £5 and overlook the city and the River Severn. Then stop by the Cloister Cafe and finish your visit with some tea.
Our Lady of Walsingham Shrine
“Katherine was on her knees at the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, her eyes fixed on the smiling statue of the Mother of Christ, but seeing nothing.” (pg 386)
This is where Katherine promised Kind Henry VIII that she would visit to give thanks when she is with child again, after her other son died. A while later, after she beats the Scots, she knows she is pregnant and makes the trip to this shrine in the Autumn of 1513.
Today, in the village of Walsingham, the shrine has been restored and is a place of pilgrimage for many Christians. You can visit the beautiful grounds and church of The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, as a pilgrim, or as a curious tourist. To see the ruins of the original Our Lady of Walsingham, go to the Walsingham Abbey grounds with a £5.50 admission fee.