On this day in 1518 – Princess Mary and the Dauphin of France were betrothed

As part of the Treaty of London, signed on 28th February 1518, an agreement was made that would betroth Princess Mary of England and the Dauphin of France two betrothal ceremonies would take place on in England, on 5th October, the second in Paris on 16th December.

Treaty of LondonThe Treaty of London

On 5th December 1518 the two year old Princess Mary was taken to the court at Greenwich and presented to the French Maryambassadors. Standing in for the French Dauphin was Guillaume Gouffier, Lord Admiral of France. Mary was dressed in a gown of gold cloth and a cap made of black cloth that covered her auburn hair, she was also covered in jewels.

Mary was stood in front of her mother, Katherine of Aragon, until the ceremony began and she was held up to participate. The French ambassador asked for Henry and Katherine’s consent to the marriage, which also meant Mary’s consent. After the royal parents gave their consent the Princess’ godfather, Cardinal Wolsey, presented the Lord Admiral with a Diamond ring which he then placed on the young Princess’ hand.

Mary who behaved throughout the ceremony believed that the Lord Admiral was the Dauphin and asked ‘Are you the Dauphin of France? If you are, I wish to kiss you.’

DauphinFollowing the first betrothal Mary would begin French lessons, the French ambassadors would check on her progress. Mary would never meet the Dauphin as King Henry VIII did not take her to the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520 although King Francis took the Dauphin along. Henry eventually broke the betrothal the following year in 1521 when he betrothed Mary to Charles V instead.

Above right: Princess Mary

Left: the Dauphin of France

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