Catherine and Thomas Seymour's marriage had been a short one, they had married in secret in the May of 1547, only four months after the death of Henry VIII to whom she had been married for four years.By 5th of September the following year Catherine was dead. Her death, six days after the birth of her daughter, was the result of an infection.
In 1782, her remains were found in the ruins of the castle's chapel, the undiscovered coffin of the queen lay in Sudeley Castle's chapel for over two hundred years. When it was opened Catherine's body was still in a good condition and described at the time as being
“soft and moist and the weight of her hand and arm as those of a living body”
Catherine's body had been wrapped in cloth and encased in lead. John Locust, who made the discovery, took a few locks of the queens hair, closed the coffin and returned it to her grave. It had evidently been badly treated during the following few years as it was later found upside down and at a bad angle. When it was opened only Cathrine's skeleton remained.
Fortunately her remains were treated respectfully from that date on, her tomb was restored, the castles chapel rebuilt and Catherine received a large ornate canopied tomb with her effigy lying on top.
In 2012, to mark the anniversary of the queens death, Sudeley Castle arranged a re enactment of her funeral, where Catherine's coffin and a procession passed out of the house through a door that had not been opened for centuries into the gardens, coming to an end in the Chapel of Ease. This is thought to be the same route Catherine's coffin would have
followed in 1548.
Her chief mourner at the time was Lady Jane Grey who lived with her at Sudeley.
Poor Jane followed Catherine to the grave only six years later, a queenly crown given and taken away within nine days. A dowager queen and other dignities also attended.
Lady Ashcombe, the present owner of Sudeley said “I didn’t realise how important the date of her death was in the history
of the Church of England, her funeral was the first Protestant funeral service held in English.” The Rector of Winchcombe and Sudeley, who planned the service, represented Catherine's personal preacher, the Protestant theologian Miles
Coverdale and wore a black Canterbury cap, and a plain black cassock.
David Starkey gave a live commentary.