HRH The Duchess of Cornwall to visit Sudeley Castle
PUBLISHED: 16:23 09 May 2012 | UPDATED: 21:22 20 February 2013
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Sudeley Castle on Thursday, May 17 to officially mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Queen Katherine Parr
Duchess to visit Sudeley
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Sudeley Castle on Thursday, May 17 to officially mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Queen Katherine Parr.The Duchess recently became Patron of the Queen Katherine Parr Quincentenary Festival, a six-month celebration of the life of Katherine.
Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry VIII,spent her final days at Sudeley in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. She is the only English Queen to be buried in a private residence.
Just months after the death of Henry she married her true love, Sir Thomas Seymour, Lord Sudeley. She came to the castle in 1548 but died a year later after giving birth to her only child, a girl.
She left an extraordinary legacy. Historian Dr David Starkey says of her: Katherine was the most important of Henrys queens.
Elizabeth I gets much of her confidence in ruling from watching Katherine act as Queen Regent when Henry is in France. Elizabeth also learns much of her religion - the Protestant religion - from Katherine.
In many ways Katherine is responsible for what makes us English, for what is the beginning of our English empire.
During her visit, Her Royal Highness will be shown rare treasures belonging to Katherine Parr including her love letters to Thomas Seymour and a rare book written by the Queen.
Katherine Parr was the only woman in the 16th century to become a published author and one of these rare books have gone on public display for the first time.
Speaking of becoming Patron of the festival HRH The Duchess of Cornwall said: With over a thousand years of history, Sudeley Castle has many stories to tell; but none greater and more inspiring than that of its most famous Tudor resident, Queen Katherine Parr. Having spent many happy times at Sudeley, I am delighted to be Patron of this Festival which will unravel the fascinating life of this historic female character and share it with all who visit the very place where she lived, loved and died in the five hundred year anniversary of her birth.
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will follow in the footsteps of Katherine Parr along the historic Queens Walk to St Marys Church, the final resting place of Katherine Parr.The Duchess will also meet local schoolchildren who will be playing traditional Tudor games.
The festival, sponsored by Charles Russell, will focus mainly on the Tudor period, building up to a September ceremony re-enacting her funeral the first Protestant funeral of its kind.