In Durham House in London, a lonely, frightened seventeen-year-old girl lay in tremendous pain. Katherine, formerly of Aragon, Spain, was about to give birth to her first child, all she had left of her beloved husband, Arthur.
How she'd loved him! When she'd first met him, she'd been a stranger in a foreign country, a country with a different language and culture. Arthur had greeted her warmly, and right away she'd known that this was where she belonged.
But it wasn't meant to be. Not quite five months after their wedding, Katherine and Arthur had both fallen ill with the sweat. Katherine had recovered; Arthur hadn't.
A few weeks after her husband's death, Katherine had discovered that she was with child. In the midst of heavy sorrow, she found that she had cause to rejoice after all. A part of Arthur lived on, after all; deep inside Katherine's body, hope sprang anew. A new Tudor would soon be born, a son to carry on his father's legacy, or a daughter to grace a future European court.
"Keep pushing! You're almost there!" the midwife encouraged. Katherine pushed with all her might, and the head crowned. After a few more pushes, the rest of the baby's body emerged.
"Congratulations, Your Grace! You have a son!" the midwife exclaimed. The baby was cleaned, swaddled, and placed in his mother's arms. Katherine looked down at her tiny son in wonder and awe. He had dark blue eyes and the flaming red hair of the Tudors. He was the spitting image of his father. Right away Katherine knew that there was only one name that would do for him.
"Arthur." As she spoke his name, a tear rolled down her cheek. She knew that his father was looking down from above, that he was proud of her and of his new son, that he was glad that his name and legacy would carry on.