Lady Katherine "Kat" Ashley (née Champerowne) was a handmaiden of Queen Anne of Cleves and governess of Elizabeth Tudor. She appears as a recurring character in Season Four, played by actress Maude Hirst. With Catherine's private approval, she seeks to educate Elizabeth in favor of Protestantism as a tribute to Elizabeth's late mother Anne Boleyn, who Lady Ashley clearly admired as a martyr of the Lutheran cause.
Kat would later become one of Elizabeth's closest friends, and they remained such during Elizabeth's reign as Queen until Kat's death, which caused Elizabeth to go into a period of mourning.
Appointed as one of Princess Elizabeth's attendants, she was present at Hatfield, when the King's agents began confiscating several ornaments and piece of furniture in order to pay for Elizabeth's mother, Anne Boleyn's expenses in the Tower, Ashley clearly pities and seems horrified when Lady Bryan, Elizabeth's governess, informs her that Elizabeth was declared a bastard and that the king has cut her off financially.
Although not shown in the series, when Lady Bryan is appointed as Prince Edward's governess, Kat replaces her as Elizabeth's governess.
When Anne of Cleves's German attendants are dismissed, Kat temporarily becomes one of Anne of Cleves's handmaidens. After Anne of Cleves is demoted of her title, and her household reduced Kat leaves her service and returns to Elizabeth's