Introduction
Hello everyone, so I decided to start a second Timeline (I'll still update my first one, but I wanted to mix things up with a more narrative one). Anyway, I've decided to explore the possibility of Catherine of Aragon not marrying Henry VIII, going back to Spain for several years, and then returning to England under different circumstances...
 
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Chapter 1, July 22nd 1502
Ludlow Castle, July 1502


Catalina sat in bed in her nightclothes, her eyes rimmed with red,”It wasn’t supposed to be like this, Mi hija.”
She looked at the tiny mound on top of a small table, covered with a white sheet out of respect, and nearly started crying all over again. She stopped herself after the first tear streamed down her cheek, thinking of what her father would say, he would remind her not to fall to despair, to take care of herself so that she could move on from this.”At least you will have your father to look after you, mi chiquita.”
Indeed, her husband, her sweet Arthur, had passed a little over two months ago, on May 2nd, after he seemed to recover from the sweat for just a couple weeks, it struck him again, and took his life. Still, it was during the second week of April, as he seemed to feel better that they had done what they had been putting off for so long. Arthur had laid with her with the desperation of a man who had narrowly avoided death once, and knew it could come again, and in those days they had grown to love each other. As one of her ladies, Maria de Salinas offered her a cup of wine, she took it with a weak smile, and took a small sip of it,”I will not let this be the end of me, I will live, return to my parents, and do whatever they require of me.”
It was not guaranteed, but Catalina thought it most likely, after all, she had consummated her marriage with Arthur, and was six years Henry, Duke of York’s senior,”Perhaps it is for the best that I leave, there are too many painful memories here.”
Of course, she also knew that her staying would be a reminder of the Prince of Wales's death, and her failure to produce a living child, all while her one-time mother-in-law, Elizabeth of York was with child for the eighth time, for Arthur’s first bout of the sweat had caused the King and Queen to desperately try to have another child, one that would have been just a month older than Catalina’s dead babe (1). Another lady brought a small bowl of porridge to Catalina, urging her to eat, and with some reluctance she did, taking methodical spoonfuls into her mouth every minute or so, “She is right, if I wish to survive I must take care of myself, for that is the only thing I have left in this Kingdom.”

(1) Catalina conceives a daughter with Arthur but suffers a miscarriage
 
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Okay, this I like! With no doubt that Katherine has consummated her marriage to Arthur, she gets to go home and save everyone several years of 'did they, didn't they' and 'What on earth are we going to do with her now'. Happier times all round, I hope.

Also intrigued to see who Henry marries this time. Eleanor of Austria is the obvious choice, but I have to say I'm hoping butterflies will allow a Henry/Marguerite of Angouleme match - it's one of my favourite 'Ships that Never Sailed'.

Looking forward to more!
 
Okay, this I like! With no doubt that Katherine has consummated her marriage to Arthur, she gets to go home and save everyone several years of 'did they, didn't they' and 'What on earth are we going to do with her now'. Happier times all round, I hope.

Also intrigued to see who Henry marries this time. Eleanor of Austria is the obvious choice, but I have to say I'm hoping butterflies will allow a Henry/Marguerite of Angouleme match - it's one of my favourite 'Ships that Never Sailed'.

Looking forward to more!

Hopefully, everyone will be a bit happier, as Catalina should be able to be home before her mother dies, and will hopefully be a comfort to her and Juana(She may be put in an awkward position between her father and Juana after her mother dies though) I also plan on Catalina playing a prominent role in Iberian politics for a while, as once Isabella of Castile dies, and if Juana gets sidelined she may be seen as a better option as regent of Castile than her father, who may allow her to do so provided that she listens to him. So, Eleanor of Austria is the most likely to marry Henry, but I do agree that Henry and Marguerite of Angouleme would probably work together better than he would with anyone else. Marguerite will play an important role here, as she'll be instrumental in the upbringing of several influential English women. Thank you so much for your praise, and your input!!!
 
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I love it!!! Catherine’s life ITTL certainly parallels that of Margaret of Austria: briefly but happily married to a man much more frail than her, with only a stillborn daughter in the end. She could even wind up as Duchess of Savoy as the wife of Charles III, assuming that Philibert II stills dies in 1504 👀
 
I love it!!! Catherine’s life ITTL certainly parallels that of Margaret of Austria: briefly but happily married to a man much more frail than her, with only a stillborn daughter in the end. She could even wind up as Duchess of Savoy as the wife of Charles III, assuming that Philibert II stills dies in 1504 👀

Thank you for your kind words, Catalina is certainly similar to Margaret for awhile here... Duchess of Savoy would certainly be interesting but she may marry into someting slightly grander( I have it partially planned out but won't say where because spoilers) Thank you again!
 
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Chapter 2, November 1502
Alcázar of Segovia, November 1502

She took a deep breath as she stopped outside the entrance to the throne room, and she wistfully thought,”To think there was a time when I thought I’d never see my parents, or my homeland again.”
Still, knowing that tardiness would be rude, she made her way through with her attendants, and as she walked through the sparsely populated, yet opulent room, decorated with many red tapestries, the same color as the kingdom’s flag, she smiled a little. Once she reached the middle of the room, she got on one knee before the dual thrones,”Your majesties, I, the Infanta Catalina, am here to serve you in whatever capacity you wish.”
She looked up at her parents, as they both nodded, and got up from their thrones. The two held hands as they got down from the dais, her father ensuring that her mother did not lose her footing. Once they both stood above her, her father gave her a broad smile,”Rise Catalina, and embrace your parents!”
Catalina stood up, and embraced her father tightly, and then embraced her mother as well, and as mother and daughter held each other they cried tears of joy,”My youngest hija, it is so good to see you!
“I am glad to see you too mother, I worried that by the time I returned it may have been too late.”
As her mother pulled away she shook her head,”No, I think I can hold on for a few more years, in any case, your being here gives me comfort, though the circumstances that led to it are all-too tragic. My condolences Catalina.”
Her father nodded,”I hope that we can help you mend your heart and move on.”
Catalina nodded,”Thank you, mama, thank you, father.”
Soon enough, after being reunited, the three retired to Catalina’s old chambers, and just short of the door, Queen Isabella gave her daughter a warm smile,”We have something for you hija.”
As Catalina walked through the door, she noticed a sight that made her squeal in delight, an older woman, dressed in a black gown, and Catalina rushed forward to embrace her,”La Latina, my teacher! How do you fare?”
The middle-aged woman smiled,”Much better now that I know you are in good health, Catalina. I know the pain you suffer, yet God has willed that we are here to comfort one another.”
Catalina beamed at Beatriz Galindo,”Thank you, Latina, perhaps we can discuss the works of St. Augustine this Thursday?”
Beatriz nodded,”I think that would be splendid, that is if their majesties allow it.”
King Ferdinand nodded,”Of course, Catalina deserves some time for things that she enjoys.”
After a few minutes of friendly banter, her father stood up from his chair,”Oh my, I must have forgotten to have the servants bring us some drinks, I will go get some wine.”
He paused to look at look back at Catalina,”Would you come with me
hija?”
The Infanta nodded, ever eager to please her father, and rose from her chair. The walk to the wine cellar was unremarkable and soon enough her father procured a pitcher of red wine. Before leaving, however, her father gave her an anguished look,”Catalina, now that you are home, I was wondering if you could assist your mother in her role as Queen?”
Catalina nodded, without hesitation,”Of course father, but she seems in good health?”
Ferdinand shook his head,”Your return has raised her spirits, yes, but she is still sick, the physicians say it is some kind of cancer. It has been this way since Miguel died, she may have already been ill, but losing the last part of your sister Isabella pushed her over the edge.”
Tears welled up in Catalina’s blue eyes,”Is there anything that can be done for her?”
Her father shook his head again,”Other than assisting her, nothing… I doubt prayer would help her; god seems to throw our prayers back at us.”
Catalina disagreed, but she didn’t protest, her father was always less devout than her mother, and now, after all that has happened, she couldn’t bring herself to insist that God would help her mother. Instead, she gave him a solemn nod,”I promise I will do all I can to help her father, if it gives her just one more day it will be worth it.”
 
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Great update! Looks already like Catalina is finding happiness in Spain and a happy Catalina is a Catalina that I can get behind! Hopefully having her youngest daughter around will help Isabella transition peacefully into the afterworld and fill her final years with some (surely much needed) comfort.
 
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