Revealing the legacies and valuable collectibles of history's Queen Catherines

"Royal memorabilia offers centuries of history to explore and discover" wrote Paul in his column a couple of months ago on the subject of why Royal memorabilia has such appeal for collectors.

The Royal family's history is a saga which goes back centuries - and Catherine "Kate" Middleton has now signed up for a starring role as the future Queen Catherine of England.

Actually, Middleton will be England's fifth Queen Catherine. The most famous three were married to King Henry VIII, out of whom one was divorced, one beheaded and one survived.

Queen Catherines past and future: Kate Middleton (left) and Catherine of Aragon

It's incredible to think that Kate Middleton, born 1982 in Berkshire to two British Airways employees, will be joining a lineage formerly occupied by the likes of Catherine of Aragon.

And anyone who's wondering whether a modern woman like Middleton can fit into the Royals' archaic traditions should bear in mind that Catherine of Aragon herself didn't always toe the line...

In 1529, Catherine was deemed too old to produce a male heir to Henry VIII. The King decided to divorce Catherine and consign her to retirement in a nunnery.

Catherine steadfastly refused, referring to Henry as "My most dear lord, King and husband" until her death in 1536. Centuries later, a key letter in Henry's attempts to appeal to the Pope for a divorce from Catherine has appeared on the markets priced at £275,000 (pictured below).

While it's safe to assume that no parallels can be drawn between Henry VIII and Catherine's marriage and the marriage of Prince William and Kate, it's also fascinating to imagine what Kate Middleton's memorabilia will be worth in centuries' time.

Not that any of us will be around to see it. For now, a more accurate measure of the growing values of the future Queen Catherine's memorabilia is perhaps Princess Diana. The People's Princess' autograph value has risen 580% in 10 years, according to the industry's PFC40 Autograph Index.

Confident and in the spotlight and already beloved by the world's press, Kate Middleton is in many ways walking through the same door opened by Princess Diana all those years ago - into a new era of relations between the Royals and the media.

As with Diana, the media will play a key role in Queen Catherine's influence, her popularity and her legacy - and her future value on the collectibles markets.


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