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At the age of two she was formally betrothed to the baby dauphin of France, but when she was four her father dropped that and organised her betrothal to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.That did not work out either, nor did a later suggestion of another French royal marriage.
Catherine of Aragon, however, certainly took a keen interest in her daughter’s education.
The Countess of Salisbury was Mary’s ‘lady governess’.
In 1525, aged nine, Mary was sent to Ludlow Castle in the Welsh borders, with a strong team of advisers and a household now more than 300 strong, to be in effect Princess of Wales.
The title was not officially given to her, but she was often called that. No more royal children had arrived and Henry desperately needed a son and heir.
Born at about four o’clock that Monday morning, Mary Tudor was the first surviving child of Henry VIII and his Spanish wife, Catherine of Aragon.
He was 24 years old, she was 30, they had been married for six years and she had suffered a succession of miscarriages and stillbirths.
She seems to have been a singularly precocious child, and is reported in July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, as entertaining some visitors by a performance on the virginals.
When she was little over nine she was addressed in a complimentary Latin oration by commissioners sent over from Flanders on commercial matters, and replied to them in the same language "with as much assurance and facility as if she had been twelve years old". About the same time that she replied to the commissioners in Latin he was arranging that she should learn Spanish, Italian and French.
Little Mary did not see much of her parents in her early years.
She was suckled by a wet-nurse and, once weaned, she was given a household 50 or more strong.