A few years ago I was contracted to ‘do’ Katherine of Aragon for one of the events organized by Black Knight Historical. I have done Tudor work with them before,at another event, organized by Griffin Historical, at The British Museum in London. No specific character was required at that time, but within minutes I was branded Anne. Not my favourite character ( I can hear the outraged cry of many Ann’s fans!), but it was fun 🙂 I have been Anne a couple of time later and always enjoyed it.
But it was Katherine that always had a special place in my heart- for her serenity, patience, unwavering convictions and sheer obstinancy. Also, she was a foreigner here and has come to love the country as her own – and we share that trait too. The commission required more studying, learning about Katherine’s background and ( but of course! ) a new outfit.
Since the timing for the event weas loosely agreed on the early years of Katherine;s marriage to Henry, 1510-15 or do, the new gown was based on the tournament roll picture, where Katherine, freshly delivered of a son, watches her handsome prince joust.
The project was interesing, epecially recreating the early bonnet, but it was done ( the article how to recreate the look can be found here🙂 – and Katherine appeared in the Peterborough Cathedral for the Royal audiences, side by side with her husband the king, for the first time.
It wasn’t the last time either – the event and the show was so popular, it has been booked, again, and again. It is a regular feature at the end of January, as a part of Katherine of Aragon festival held there. the festival commemorates her death ( Katherine is burried in the cathedral) and celebrates her life: there are lectures, tudor interpretors, dancing, music – in short, both education and entertainment combined.
And of course, being out so often,Kathrine needed another gown too… this one is silver tissue:-)
I have come to realy enjoy the event – and not only because wearing a nice frock and being a royalty for a day, in lovely surroundings is fun. Interacting with public is different everytime – people ask different questions every year and as I prepare for the audiences and do my research, there is always something new to be learnt – about the customs of the period, the dance, or about the remarkable woman who sat on the English throne next to her famous husband. or just as a chance to brush up on my Spanish:-)
A short video form the last festival can be found here
The knowledge and the kit came useful as well – Katherine appeared at the Blicking Hall, together with the other queens, and the new dress, with a new hood, served for Mary Tudor, the sister of the king, for another event – a Christmas at Blickling Hall.
Many thanks to the event organizers, as well as a certain Thoomas More, and a faithful lady in waiting, Eleanor:-)