From Wednesday 8 February 2023 (until 4 June 2023) a 1527 prayer book belonging to Catherine of Aragon will be available for visitors to see alongside the 1527 Book of Hours which belonged to Anne Boleyn.
Visitors have the chance to see two prayer books belonging to two of Henry VIII’s wives on display at Hever Castle in Kent this year, likely to be the first time in 500 years they have been under one roof.
From Wednesday 8 February 2023 (until 4 June 2023) a 1527 prayer book belonging to Catherine of Aragon on loan from the Morgan Library in New York will be available for visitors to see alongside the 1527 Book of Hours which belonged to Anne Boleyn, already on display in the Castle.
The acquisition will form part of the second in a series of exhibitions about Anne Boleyn at her childhood home and follows the Becoming Anne: Connections, Culture, Court which ran from March - November last year.
For centuries Catherine and Anne have been pitted against each other as love rivals with their differences celebrated. This new exhibition (which runs from February 2023 to November 2023); ‘Catherine and Anne: Queens, Rivals, Mothers’ showcases the similarities between Catherine and Anne and through new research shows that Catherine owned the very same copy of the prayer book that Anne had.
Along with the Book of Hours visitors can see a previously unexhibited panel portrait of Catherine of Aragon and replicas of the coronation robes and crown of Elizabeth I and Mary I which may also have been used by Anne and Catherine at their coronations.
The coronation robes were worn by Cate Blanchett in the 1998 film “Elizabeth”.
The exhibition will also include a 16th century panel, featuring the combined emblem of King Henry VIII’s Tudor rose, fused with Queen Catherine of Aragon’s emblem of a pomegranate.
Portrait miniatures of Catherine of Aragon and her daughter Mary I, alongside miniatures of Anne Boleyn and her daughter Elizabeth I will also be on display.
Visitors will be able to view four never before exhibited costumes from the recent StarZ historical drama “Becoming Elizabeth”.