Today in history - The wedding of Arthur Tudr & Catalina D’Aragon
On Sunday 14th November 1501 the wedding of Prince Arthur, Henry VII’s eldest son, and Princess Catherine of Aragon was celebrated splendidly in old St Paul’s Cathedral. Stands had been erected in the nave for the most important guests; and for the marriage itself there was a timber platform twelve feet wide and four feet high with steps on every side and covered with red baize. This was, a chronicler declared, ‘like unto the haut-place of the christening of the King’s children,’ and it stood against the consistory court over the north portion of the cloisters adjacent to the choir and north transept so that the King and Queen could privately go there through a door made for the occasion 'to hear and see the ceremonies of the marriage at their pleasure.'
The Princess was received at the Galilee porch at the west end by a fanfare of trumpeters and processed down the long nave between the great Norman pillars hung with tapestry to be married to the waiting Prince by the Archbishop of Canterbury assisted by the Spanish Legate and nineteen bishops and mitred abbots. After this they went from the platform through the rood screen and along the choir with its tall windows to the square east end for high mass at the altar. Then, after Arthur had separately left by the west door to go to the Bishop of London’s palace at the north side of the cathedral to make ready to receive his bride, 'as the custom of England is,’ the young Prince Henry led her for a banquet there; where a conduit 'pompously devised to run diverse sorts of good wine’ began to spout as did several others in the capital that day, and dancing and jousting, archery and play-acting and other amusements were organised during the next ten days.”