Matilda Adela of England
House House of Tudor
Father Edward VI
Mother Isabella of Cleves
Born 17 November 1576
Hampton Court Palace, England
Died 21 November 1583 (aged 7)
Richmond Palace, England
Burial Henry VII's Lady Chapel, Westminster Abbey
Religion Anglican

Matilda Adela (17 November 1576 - 21 November 1583) was a daughter of Edward VI and Isabella of Cleves. She had a twin sister, Victoria Adeliza, that died in infancy. She was engaged to the Prince of Asturias, Diego from 1578 until his death. She died exactly a year after her betrothed.

Early Life

Matilda Adela was born prematurely at Hampton Court Palace on 17 November 1576 as the elder twin sister of Victoria Adeliza. She was the ninth daughter of Isabella of Cleves and Edward VI of England. She was the stronger daughter and was named immediately, while her mother waited a week to name her sister who was said to not have much chance of survival. She was christened on 20 November and was put in the care of Mary Boleyn. She had a close relationship with her sister Suzanne and brothers Henry and James.


The Spanish Armada of 1573 ended in the Treaty of Dover, which stipulated that the Prince of Asturias would marry a Princess of England. At the time of Matilda Adela's birth, Prince Ferdinand was the heir apparent and was betrothed to her elder sister Cecily. In 1578, Ferdinand died and the second son, Diego Felix, became Prince of Asturias. Diego was closer in age to Matilda and Victoria so they were both put forward as possible wives. Matilda was chosen as she was the elder and in better health than Victoria, who died shortly after the treaty was concluded. It was decided on her ninth birthday Matilda would go to Spain to complete her education. However, Diego died in 1582, leaving Matilda unattached once more as Suzanne was betrothed to the new heir, Philip. Her mother began considering a German match for her.


Matilda, though stronger than her twin sister, was still of a weak constitution. Isabella was aware of this and constructed a special diet for her daughter and demanded that her residence be kept cleaner than she had demanded with her other children. Matilda was also kept near Cornwall on the Isle of Scilly, one of the warmer regions of England. She began to grow stronger and in 1583 Isabella believed it was safe to recall her daughter to Eltham Palace where the other royal children resided. She soon contracted Quartan fever and was sent to Hatfield House to protect her siblings. In October, she seemed to be recovering but relapsed in October and died exactly one year after her betrothed.

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