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The Constant Princess

(The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #6)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  149,662 ratings  ·  4,713 reviews

Splendid and sumptuous historical novel from the internationally bestselling author, Philippa Gregory, telling of the early life of Katherine of Aragon.

We think of Katherine of Aragon as the barren wife of a notorious king; but behind this legacy lies a fascinating story.

Katherine of Aragon is born Catalina, the Spanish Infanta, to parents who are both rulers and warriors.

Paperback, 390 pages
Published September 6th 2006 by Washington Square Press (first published 2005)
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Lavinia Sirbulescu I had no idea who Philipa Gregory was and I did not know a thing about Herny VII´s 6 wifes..until one evening when my native Spanish teacher introduce…moreI had no idea who Philipa Gregory was and I did not know a thing about Herny VII´s 6 wifes..until one evening when my native Spanish teacher introduced me Juana La Loca..sister of Catalina de Aragon. I was so fascinated on the spot by the fantastic, magic touch of the history (I used to hate history or find it dull) so I went further with the trip back.
I discovered Diana Uribe and her videos on youtube, great storyteller, dynamic and organised. You may check yourself the story of the 6 wifes of Henry the VIII here:

I personnally am looking forward reading the whole series of Philipa and then go for the 3 books series about the War of the Roses, by the same author.

My best,
Bethany Jane I think this is something Gregory does really well. I've read her Cousin's War series and was amazed at how the voice came across, much better than so…moreI think this is something Gregory does really well. I've read her Cousin's War series and was amazed at how the voice came across, much better than some other historical fictions I've read in the past. (less)

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alana Semuels
May 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
Ah, Philippa Gregory. You lured me in with The Other Boleyn Girl, which I knew was kind of trashy, but still couldn't put it down. TOBG was like eating cupcakes while watching SVU re-runs. Paradise. The Constant Princess, however, was like eating Doritos while watching Grey's Anatomy. I really wanted to like it, but really, it just made me want to barf. The problem, dear Philippa, is that just as Henry VIII liked his ladies, you seem to love italics. You write whole pages in italics, which in my ...more
May 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Those of you familiar with all things Tudor already know the basics of the long-suffering Katherine of Aragon and the husband who dumped her when she couldn't produce a male heir. Those who aren't might consider this review rather spoilerish so consider yourself warned. That said, since the author skims through a big chunk of the latter part of Katherine's life and "The King's Great Matter", I wouldn't recommend this for newbies as you'll be scratching your head at the end wondering wha
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was ok
I'm going to start out by saying 1) I love historical fiction and 2) I loved Margaret George's, The Autobiography of Henry VIII with notes by his fool Will Sommers (one of my fave books of all time).

So when I have the opportunity to go back to Kind Henry VIII's court I do! I've read the Other Boleyn Girl, I've read Elizabeth I by Rosamund Miles to learn about the time after Henry VIII, etc.

Therefore I was really looking forward to learning more about Henry's first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

Ahmad Sharabiani
The Constant Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #6), Philippa Gregory
The Constant Princess is a historical fiction novel by Philippa Gregory, published in 2005. The novel depicts a highly fictionalized version of the life of Catherine of Aragon and her rise to power in England. Catalina of Aragon's initially loveless arranged marriage to the crown prince Arthur secretly develops into an intimate relationship where they share their plans to rule England together once Arthur is king. But
B the BookAddict
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical fiction, Tudor history lovers
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Goodreads
Shelves: hist-fiction
You cannot take a person like Catherine of Aragon and fashion some carte blanche story about her; there are facts and documentation which must be adhered to. Gregory brings this fascinating woman to life for us; teaching us as we read.

She gives the reader such a keen sense of this woman; this Catalina, Infanta of Spain more commonly known to us as Catherine of Aragon, betrothed to Henry V111. It follows her story from aged five in 1491 on the battle fields of Spain to 1529 in England at the Pap
Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
A very entertaining and engaging story, more lively than Jean Plaidy's Katherine trilogy. Even though I found Plaidy's books a bit on the dull side, I'm glad I read them to complement Gregory's take on the young Katherine. Most of the HF I've read about Katherine shows her in her times of trial during her second marriage, where she comes across as a long-suffering and pious cow, an object of scorn and pity. Even as a younger girl, she comes off as a bit of a drip and killjoy, as if she was born ...more
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
oh what a marvellous story.
The Book Maven
If King Henry VIII's wives have any consolation, it is that they are remembered and honored far more in death than they were in life--there were six wives, and now there are dozens of books about them. But The Constant Princess begins at the beginning--with the first wife, Katherine of Aragon, whose unfortunate life did not include the birth of a son and heir to King Henry VIII. It is that perceived fault of hers that inspired Henry to seek sport in the arms of other women, and provided us with ...more

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Historical Fiction

This is the sixth book in this wonderful series (The Plantagenet & Tudor Novels). We follow in this installment The Constant Princess, Catalina of Spain, Princess of Wales, or Queen Katherine of Aragon. The story is told right from her childhood up to the Battle of Flodden in 1513 between England and the invading Scotts.

“You have to have faith that you are doing God's will. Sometimes you will not understand. Sometimes you will doubt. But if you are doing G
Erin Clemence
This review is for the audiobook version of “The Constant Princess” by Philippa Gregory, published by RecordedBooks.

Audio: (5) The audio for this novel is performed by Jill Tanner, a stage actor and voice talent from Britain. She does a fabulous job with this recording, speaking very clearly and precisely. The narration is really only told from Katherine of Aragon’s perspective, so there is very little need for voice changing, but Ms. Tanner is able to perform Henry and Harry etc. in such a
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Philippa Gregory
Recommended to Iset by: No one

It is difficult to know where to start with this review. Perhaps by highlighting one of the most pertinent points. The novel is written alternately from third person and first person point of view. Usually, a scene will occur written in the third person, followed by an internal monologue from Catalina's character about the events which have just occurred. Is this poor writing, or does this continuous switching of views work within the story? The premise sets off alarm bells that the story may se
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am completely fascinated by this time period. It is like reading a soap opera. It also helped me to understand how King Henry could be so cruel and it made me sad for Queen Katherine. This was a beautiful love story and a story of perseverance. I loved the descriptions of the spanish court. It certainly made me glad that I am not royalty.
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
The author does quite well in telling the story of the young Infanta Katalina, daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, betrothed at three years old to Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of England's Henry VII.
She knows she will one day be ruler of a distant cold land.

Her reception in England is rude and shocking as she is insulted by an arrogant and seemingly coarse King Henry VII, and married to the callow and awkward Arthur.
She must hold on to all her faith and strength against the rude attenti
Ashley Marie
I don't care how historically inaccurate this story may be, it totally swept me up and I loved it-- and I'm not usually one for historical romances. I read this two years ago and I just remember feeling all warm and fuzzy and then heartbroken and angsty as I went on this journey with Katherine of Aragon.

Favorite book of the Tudor Court series by far-- reading the Other Boleyn Girl after this felt like a big disappointment.
Crystal Starr Light
"A near-constant bore"

Catalina is the daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, the Spanish Infanta, betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the throne of England. From childhood she was prepped for her queenly position; she grows up alongside a battlefield, in the splendid palace in Spain, until she is sent to be married to Arthur. And thus begins the life of the future Queen Katherine of Aragon.

Despite their flaws, I rather enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl and The
This book is, in my opinion, Gregory’s best novel. Some historical fiction can be a little too tawdry for my taste. (But don’t get me wrong, tawdry is awesome as long as it’s accompanied by some substance I can sink my teeth into). Gregory’s novels can lose this balance every now and then and she is sometimes guilty of repetitive phrases that can force your mind to wander. I did not notice these pitfalls in this particular novel. There are, of course, passionate love scenes (because what hf woul ...more
Dec 10, 2007 rated it liked it
For me, Gregory's big problem is point of view. Her first-person narratives are fantastic, but her third-person ones suck. Here is an interesting combo: The Constant Princess is written mostly in third, but with about just as much in first-person asides that aren't really justifiable in any way. Are they journal entries from the protagonist, Katherine of Aragon? Just musings? Often, the narratives overlap, which could be interesting, but really just comes off as jarring. I don't really get what ...more
Kristen "Kirby"
Let me start by saying this: If you hated The Other Boleyn Girl for it's lack of exciting events and boring pace, good luck getting past page 100 of The Constant Princess.

Now, I'm no fan of Philippa Gregory. To be honest, I HATE the way she writes. She spins in circles, repeating the same crap over and over again. She includes tons of unneeded fillers. Ugh. I simply read her books because I like the history.

After enjoying The Other Boleyn Girl, I went on to the Boleyn Inheritance, finally decidi

Sorry, nope, I can't do this. When I saw this at the library and all the rave reviews it got I thought this would be an interesting take on Catherine of Aragon's story. To me, she is one of the most interesting of Henry's wives, and I thought it would be fun to read a totally different theory about who she was. Sadly, it didn't work for me. I thought I could get around to the idea that a woman so insanely devout would risk her soul by lying, but it turns out I just can't. It's an interesting
Aug 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Although “The Constant Princess” has never been recommended to me specifically, the enthusiastic response to “The Other Boleyn Girl” – Gregory’s most well-known novel – was enough to encourage my purchase of it a couple of years ago. She is touted as a fabulously emotive historical fiction writer, and yet my initial response was to discard it after I had read the first couple of pages. Roll on 18 months, and my recent second attempt at ploughing my way through was barely underway before I rememb ...more
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
I generally love Philippa Gregory. I do not apologize for taking great pleasure in going to visit historical places like a fly on the wall and peeking into the way those lives might have been. Most of time, I can feel that Gregory’s version might have been true, because she sticks very close to the facts and only interpolates feelings and emotions to make the characters human. Somehow, I felt she went off the rails in this one. I even had cause to doubt the accuracy of her history. (view spoiler ...more
Who is this woman, whose fame rests on her inability to produce a male heir for Henry VIII? In this book the author attempts to envision her life.

The first part is credible. The author describes how Catalina, the child of Spain's powerful co-monarchs, could have developed a belief in her destiny. From this seed, Ms. Gregory builds the case for a steely purposeful woman who affects all the airs of the monarch she aspires to be and exudes its sense of entitlement. This is the attitude and the outl
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Filled in the gaps and questions I had about Catherine of Aragon before she was Henry VIII's wife. She lead a very interesting life and had much more steel and ambition than I'd imagined. I liked Prince Arthur too and I wondered how history might have changed if Henry had never inherited the throne. Gregory doesn't give us an entirely accurate account of Tudor history. No one can be certain if Catherine's first marriage was ever consumated but I liked the angle that the author went with this. I ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My son gave me this book for Christmas. I haven't read any Philippa Gregory books before, but have wanted to read them.

Before reading this book, I didn't know much about Katherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife. This was a fascinating look at her life, and I was reading about her on Wikipedia also. The author's interpretation of events was fascinating, I knew this was a fictionalised version of history. It was also interesting reading about life in King Henry's court.

The switching between 1s
Shirley Revill
I have never been disappointed with a Phillipa Gregory book. She knows her subject well. Highly recommended.
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
"This is me. This is my moment. This is my battle cry."

I'm going to begin this review by saying that you should take my star rating with a grain of salt because this genre is not for everyone. Historical Fiction is now one of my favourite genres, even though I haven't read much, because of its pacing, character development, and plot. This genre is not for everyone. It can be incredibly slow, assumes the reader has knowledge of actual historical events, and at times not much happens in terms of p
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
An intriguing, unputdownable and very well written account of Katherine of Aragon: born Catalina, the Spainish Infanta. More readily known to most people as the first wife of Henry VIII.
It is fascinating to see her as alone in a strange, new land and alone; she has no-one to counsel her in how to get from being the wife of King Arthur (elder brother to Henry) to the being the wife of King Henry. And thus to fulfill the role she was born for Queen of England.
I particularly enjoyed reading her sup
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointing*. Told in first person narrative, it sounded more like a 21st century woman’s thoughts than the memoir of a Spanish Castilian princess come to live in England. (view spoiler) ...more
Carole P. Roman
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Philippa Gregory is a genius. Each of her books delves into the personality of the historical figure. We think of Kathern of Aragon as the hapless, dowdy wife thrown over for the more glamorous Anne Boleyn. Few realize that both Henry and she were distantly related though John of Gaunt. Even fewer know that she was quite the warrior, daughter of Isabella of Spain ( yes, THAT Isabella) and groomed for Queenship her entire life. Gregory gets not only into their head but imagines the essence of wha ...more
Sara Giacalone
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this view of a younger, more passionate Katherine of Aragon. While I know better than to assume it is historically accurate, I enjoyed this tale. I especially enjoyed reading about Granada and the Moors. Although, I think the author should have gone forward to the end of Katherine's life. I know her later days have been well covered, but it was a bit of a cop out to leave out so much of her story.
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Philippa Gregory was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl, which was made into a TV drama and a major film. Published in 2009, the bestselling The White Queen, the story of Elizabeth Woodville, ushered in a new series involving The Cousins’ War (now known as The War of the Roses) and a new era for the acc ...more

Other books in the series

The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • The Lady of the Rivers (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #1; Cousins War #3)
  • The White Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #2; The Cousins War #1)
  • The Red Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #3; Cousins War #2)
  • The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousins' War #4)
  • The White Princess (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #5; Cousins War #5)
  • The King's Curse (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #7; Cousins War #6)
  • Three Sisters, Three Queens (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #8)
  • The Other Boleyn Girl (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #9)
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #10)
  • The Taming of the Queen (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels, #11)

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Philippa Gregory is best known for reimagining the lives of famous royal women in bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn...
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