“My good sister and cousin,
I have by your esquire of the stable received your good and affectionate letters, and I assure you that I have been much and very greatly consoled at having heard the good news, health, estate, and prosperity in which is my very dear and most beloved good son, and yours the dauphin. And believe what by your said esquire you will similarly hear, not only of the good health, estate, prosperity, and news of the King my husband, of me and of my daughter the princess, but also the affection, good will, and very great desire that the King my said lord and husband and I have to the good and continuance of the good love, friendship, and fraternal intelligence and alliance which now is between the two Kings our husbands, and their kingdoms, which I hold inseparable, and ever pray God that it may continue, which I desire above all things, and for my part shall exert myself for it as I have always done and shall do.
However, I will cease writing you a longer letter, except praying you that from time to time I may be participant of your good news, and of those of my said son the dauphin. Also, if there be any thing in which I could do you pleasure, I will do it with very good heart, as she who considers herself and wishes ever to continue.
Your good sister and cousin,
Katherine writes with the usual standard blandishments dictated by the etiquette of the time, mostly speaking of her own and Claude’s health and their children. Katherine was always an advocate for having England allied with Spain and her nephew the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. She would have found an English alliance with France to be distasteful and not in her nephew’s best interests. Her impersonal approach in the letter makes this clear.
It is also interesting to note that around the time this letter was written, plans were being formed for a meeting between Katherine’s husband Henry and Claude’s husband Francis to further their friendship and cement their alliance. This meeting, which took place between June 7th and 20th in 1520 between the village of Guines in the English held territory of Calais and the French village of Ardres. Katherine and Claude met in person during this meeting. This spectacle became legendary and would go down in history by the name of the “Field of the Cloth of Gold”.
Further reading: “Golden Age Ladies: Women Who Shaped the Courts of Henry VIII and Francis I” by Sylvia Barbara Soberton