By the time Mary was 10, Henry had resigned himself to the fact that he wouldn’t have any more children. Or at least, any more children with Catherine. He had held out some hope after the last miscarriage when Mary had been 2 but then Catherine had never quite recovered. He distracted himself from the implications of this with his mistresses and other entertainments but it was never far from his mind.
The last time a daughter of a king had tried to succeed him it had failed abominably. But then again, that king hadn’t been the well-loved Henry. Ever since he had been a child, people catered to his every whim. What was the good of such people if they could not be relied on to stay loyal to his blood, female or not? Henry knew better than most to not discount the female royal blood. His own mother was the daughter of a king and his father would never have been accepted as king if he had not married the heiress of York. Even in his own mind, he depended more on the lineage of his mother than his father. With this in mind, he could not deny his own daughter the precedence that he so easily gave to his mother. These thoughts gave him reassurance and he let things stay as they were. Catherine was old and not well; he may yet have another wife.
Catherine quietly died after years of illness. Henry mourned the woman who had been all a queen should be and had only failed at something out of her control. The even deeper loss for him was the woman who had known his family before it was devastated by loss. There had been no closer who knew how affected he had been by his mother’s death or how his father’s last years had made it clear to him what kind of king he didn’t want to be. But now was the chance for a new start and Henry was never one to deny himself happiness.
Henry married his long-suffering mistress, Anne Boleyn. She was soon with child and he was anxious that he would finally have a son. When the time came and they came to tell him what the child was, he could tell by their manner and the look on their faces. It was a girl. (x)