Friday, January 28, 2011

Like They Used to...Arthur Tudor

The 'Almost King' Arthur

I have quite a wild imagination and I love history. Maybe this is why my mind drifts into the ideas of the 'what if' realm. Today's handsome figure is very intriguing to me because what if...he had lived.

Arthur Tudor was named after the mythical figure Arthur of Camelot by his father King Henry the VII. His reign was supposed to tie England to it's old noble history and restore the golden age back to the people. He was constantly being tutored and trained to become the next king of England, something that his younger brother did not participate in.

From the early age of two Arthur was engaged to marry Catherine of Aragon, from Spain, and at the young age of fifteen they were wed. The morning after, Arthur boasted to his friends that he had 'been in Spain' and that being a husband was 'thirsty work'. It is strange to consider that the history of Catholicism in England and the history of England itself once hung on the truth of that boastful claim.

Only 20 weeks later Arthur had died from a still undetermined illness, one that nearly claimed his wife as well. Before naming Arthur's younger brother heir apparent, England waited to see if Catherine was with child. Any of her issue would have been the future King or Queen of the country. When a child did not arrive the line of succession passed to Arthur's younger brother, a man who was completely untrained and unprepared for the role before him. He was the future King Henry the VIII.

When I look at portraits of the young and hopeful Arthur Tudor I wonder how history might have changed had he lived. How would it have unfolded without the influences of Henry VIII and his two daughters; Queen 'Bloody' Mary and Queen Elizabeth. We might never have heard of Anne Bolyne or the other four of his six wives. England would have been a very different country... had there ever been a King Arthur.

Next Week: Back to Hollywood! The first actress to earn $1,000,000 per movie! Hint-1963


  1. Ah men and their boasting! It's an interesting thing to ponder. I would say Arthur being king would have been unfortune because King Henry VIII, his marriages, and his offspring were so interesting, and it would alter all of history, but who knows how interest Arthur could have been if only he had lived.

    I know who the first actress was, but I cheated and looked it up, so I won't give it away :P

  2. DL-Hey that's not fair! There are some downsides to the modern era where google can find almost any strange factoid. I just had to do one on her and I can't believe how much money she made!

    I agree that English history would have lost some of it's charm without those historical figures but considering the boastful nature of Arthur, I think he would have been a kick too!

  3. I liked this post as I've never heard of Arthur Tudor. You're expanding my horizons. First a Jane Austen novel and now this.

  4. Steve-I love strange little bits of history that have been lost. I hope that you enjoyed Arthur Tudor more than you enjoyed Jane Austen!