Did you know?

Modern depictions of Catherine of Aragon seem obsessed with one aspect of her … she was ‘Spanish’. This means that she must have looked stereotypically ‘Spanish’,  dark hair and eyes and olive complexion. It could not be further from the truth ….

Our primary evidence, through existing portraits and contemporary descriptions depict her with blue eyes, fair skin, and reddish-blonde hair.

It is a little sad (and a bit annoying) that those responsible for choosing actors to portray her seem to just ‘hear’ Spanish princess. Below is a short review (not comprehensive) of actresses who have portrayed Catherine:

The Sword and the Rose 1953
Rosalie Crutchley – The Sword and the Rose 1953
Irene Papas -Anne of a Thousand Days 1969
Irene Papas – Anne of a Thousand Days 1969
Assumpta Serna - Henry VIII 2003
Assumpta Serna – Henry VIII 2003
Ana Torrent - The Other Boleyn Girl 2007
Ana Torrent – The Other Boleyn Girl 2007
Maria Doyle Kennedy - The Tudors 2007
Maria Doyle Kennedy – The Tudors 2007
Siobhan Hewlett - Henry: Mind of a Tyrant 2009
Siobhan Hewlett – Henry: Mind of a Tyrant 2009
Joanne Whalley - Wolf Hall 2015
Joanne Whalley – Wolf Hall 2015

Of the examples given above the only depiction that is close to what Catherine really looked like is Siobhan Hewlett. Thank you David Starkey (a renown English historian) for getting it right in his 2009 Documentary Henry: Mind of a Tyrant.