The Spanish Princess
|The Spanish Princess|
|Based on||The King's Curse & The Constant Princess|
by Philippa Gregory
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||55 minutes|
|Original release||May 5, 2019 –|
|Preceded by||The White Queen|
The White Princess
The Spanish Princess is a British-American historical period drama television limited series developed by Emma Frost and Matthew Graham for Starz. It is based on the novels The Constant Princess and The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory and it is a sequel to the miniseries The White Queen and The White Princess. The series premiered on May 5, 2019, with an initial eight episode order. On June 3, 2019, Starz ordered an additional eight episodes to premiere in 2020 and conclude the story.
Teenaged princess Catherine of Aragon, daughter of Spanish rulers Isabella and Ferdinand, finally travels to England, to meet her husband by proxy, Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir apparent of Henry VII of England, to whom she has been betrothed since she was a child. Unwelcome by some, she and her diverse court, including her lady-in-waiting Lina, who is of Moorish ancestry, struggle to adapt to English customs. Catherine is horrified to learn that it is Arthur's younger brother, the arrogant Harry, Duke of York, who is the author of the romantic correspondence she has received. When Arthur dies suddenly, her destiny as the one who will bring peace between Spain and England seems in doubt, until she sets her sights on Prince Harry.
- Alicia Borrachero as Queen Isabella of Castile
- Laura Carmichael as Margaret "Maggie" Pole
- Daniel Cerqueira as De Fuensalida, the Spanish ambassador to England
- Aaron Cobham as Oviedo, one of Catherine of Aragon's guards
- Elliot Cowan as King Henry VII of England
- Philip Cumbus as Thomas Wolsey
- Alba Galocha as Queen Joanna of Castile
- Georgie Henley as Margaret "Meg" Tudor
- Charlotte Hope as Catherine of Aragon
- Angus Imrie as Arthur, Prince of Wales
- Stephanie Levi-John as Lina de Cardonnes, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon
- Alan McKenna as Sir Richard Pole
- Alexandra Moen as Elizabeth of York
- Ruairi O'Connor as Harry, Duke of York
- Nadia Parkes as Rosa de Vargas, a lady-in-waiting to Catherine of Aragon
- Richard Pepper as Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire
- Jordan Renzo as Charles "Charlie" Brandon
- Olly Rix as Edward Stafford
- Harriet Walter as Margaret Beaufort
- Mamadou Doumbia as John Blanke
- Patrick Gibson as Richard of York
- Isla Merrick-Lawless as Princess Mary
- Morgan Jones as Edmund Dudley
- Nick Barber as Edmund de la Pole
- Mimi De Winton as Ursula Pole
- Arthur Bateman as Reggie Pole
- Matt Carr as Henry Pole
- Philip McGinley as George Neville
- Kenneth Cranham as Bishop John Morton
- Luka Perros as Christopher Columbus
- Norman Bowman as William Dunbar
- Philip Andrew as Philip of Castile
- Luke Mullins as William Compton
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||"The New World"||Birgitte Stærmose||Emma Frost & Matthew Graham||May 5, 2019||0.393|
|October - November 1501: Catherine arrives in England. When she meets Arthur, Prince of Wales, Catherine is disappointed that he isn't as romantic in person as he was in his letters. She later learns it was Arthur's younger brother, Harry, who exchanged letters with her. Elizabeth, the queen, tells Catherine that the brother of her cousin, Maggie Pole, was beheaded because Catherine's mother, Isabella, would only pledge Catherine's hand in marriage if there were no other claimants to England's throne. As Harry walks Catherine to the altar on her wedding day, he admits that he initially exchanged letters with her to hurt Arthur, but later found that her letters excited him.|
|2||"Fever Dream"||Birgitte Stærmose||Matthew Graham||May 12, 2019||0.398|
|November 1501 – April 1502: After the wedding, Arthur and Catherine stay in Henry's household for a short time. Arthur and Harry's sister Margaret learns that Henry has offered her hand in marriage to James IV of Scotland to form another alliance for England. Catherine begs Maggie Pole's forgiveness for being the reason Maggie's brother was murdered. Arthur and Catherine set off for northern England, near Wales, to set-up their own household, and become closer as they learn more about each other. Maggie Pole and her family accompany them. Arthur becomes gravely ill. Henry and Elizabeth race to northern England but arrive too late. Henry informs Catherine she will return to London and stay in the royal household until they know if she is with child.|
|3||"An Audacious Plan"||Daina Reid||Helen Childress||May 19, 2019||0.456|
|April 1502 – February 1503: Catherine learns that Isabella is arranging another alliance marriage. Catherine hides her true condition to bide her time in England, which would solve many problems for her, her maid, Lina, and her guard, Oviedo. Catherine tells Lina, and later Harry, that her marriage to Arthur was never consummated. Harry proposes and asks Henry to request a papal dispensation so he and Catherine can marry. Elizabeth goes into labor. After the difficult stillbirth, she has a vision that the Tudor line will end if Harry and Catherine marry and begs Henry to prevent the marriage. As Catherine writes to Isabella for her blessing to marry Harry, mourning bells begin peal for Elizabeth.|
|4||"The Battle for Harry"||Daina Reid||Nicki Renna||May 26, 2019||0.500|
|March 1503: Edmund de la Pole, the leading Yorkist claimant to the throne and a cousin of both the late queen and Maggie Pole, is plotting to overthrow Henry. Henry tells Lady Beaufort that Harry wants to marry Catherine. She confronts Catherine about her alleged virginity then orders her out of the palace. Lady Beaufort bans Maggie from court when Maggie states Catherine may be telling the truth. Henry learns Maximilian I is protecting Edmund de la Pole. Henry sets his grief aside to see Margaret off as she departs for Scotland to marry. He hosts a feast to celebrate the future and invites Catherine. Henry makes an announcement that indirectly fulfills the late queen's dying wish: a royal marriage between himself and Catherine.|
|5||"Heart Versus Duty"||Lisa Clarke||Andrea Thornton Bolden||June 2, 2019||0.546|
|Late 1503 – Late 1505: Catherine is torn between her duty to marry Henry and her desire to marry Harry. Margaret arrives in Scotland and is pleasantly surprised by her betrothed. Harry tells Lady Beaufort, and later Catherine, that if Catherine wants to marry him instead Henry, he will fight for her. Catherine fears her fate should she reject Henry and crush his pride, but decides to follow her heart. She convinces Henry that the alliance with Spain will be weakened when Harry becomes king if she is Henry's widow instead of Harry's wife. Henry withdraws his intentions, but reminds Catherine and Harry that they can only marry if the Pope grants a dispensation and if Spain pays the remainder of Catherine's dowry. Maggie Pole's husband dies unexpectedly.|
|6||"A Polite Kidnapping"||Lisa Clarke||Emma Frost||June 9, 2019||0.493|
|January – April 1506: Catherine learns that her mother has died, her sister Joanna is queen of Castile, and her father won't pay her dowry. Joanna and her husband Philip are stranded in England. Henry, hoping Philip's father, Maximilian I, will turn over Edmund de la Pole, secretly delays repairs to their ship. Maggie Pole is destitute. To extract a forced confession about Catherine's virginity, Lady Beaufort offers assistance to Maggie, which she refuses. In exchange for her dowry, Catherine tells Joanna how she can escape England: Joanna will persuade Maximilian to turn de la Pole over to Henry or lose trade with Castile if Henry takes an oath to spare de la Pole's life. Rather than pay Catherine's dowry, Joanna forms a new alliance with England at the suggestion of Lady Beaufort: betroth Joanna's son Charles to Harry's younger sister, Mary.|
|7||"All is Lost"||Stephen Woolfenden||Helen Childress||June 16, 2019||0.509|
|September 1506 - December 1507: Catherine learns there is to be a double wedding in Spain: Mary to her nephew Charles and Harry to her niece Eleanor. Oviedo proposes to Lina and tells her he is working for Lady Beaufort. Harry is torn between his duty to marry Eleanor and his desire to marry Catherine. Maggie Pole seeks shelter with Catherine and Lina. Catherine's father Ferdinand writes that Joanna's husband Philip has died and Joanna is not fit to rule Castile. Ferdinand is guardian to Joanna's children and Castile's regent. Ferdinand makes Catherine Aragon's ambassador to England and promises her dowry. Catherine's new status allows her and Lina to move back into the palace. Oviedo provides Lady Beaufort with the names of de la Pole's co-conspirators, which now include Maggie and her eldest son. He later protects Maggie's son during a raid.|
|8||"Destiny"||Stephen Woolfenden||Emma Frost & Matthew Graham||June 23, 2019||0.528|
|April 1509 - June 1509: Henry dies. Harry reaffirms his desire to marry Catherine. Lady Beaufort accuses Edmund Dudley of treason (for her own illegal activities) and he is beheaded. Harry pardons Maggie Pole and her children and they return to court. Lady Beaufort extracts a forced confession from Lina about Catherine's virginity by accusing Oviedo of theft and demanding his hanging. Lina and Oviedo marry before his hanging. Harry and Catherine arrive in time to save Oviedo's life. Harry learns the Pope granted a dispensation sometime before Henry's death. Lady Beaufort dies. On their wedding day, Catherine receives a letter from Ferdinand, stating Harry slept with Joanna. Harry denies it, and Catherine again denies that she slept with Arthur.|
On March 15, 2018, it was announced that Starz had greenlit the production. Emma Frost and Matthew Graham were set to serve as showrunners in addition to executive producing alongside Colin Callender, Scott Huff, Charlie Pattinson, and Charlie Hampton. Production companies involved with the series were expected to consist of All3 Media’s New Pictures and Playground.
On May 17, 2018, it was reported that the first two episodes of the series would be directed by Birgitte Stærmose and that the subsequent episodes would also be directed by women.
It was announced on June 3, 2019 that the series would return for another eight episodes, to be broadcast in 2020, with stars Charlotte Hope and Ruairi O'Connor returning to the show as Catherine and Henry respectively, "along with other key cast".
Alongside the directing announcement, it was confirmed that Charlotte Hope, Stephanie Levi-John, Angus Imrie, Harriet Walter, Laura Carmichael, Ruairi O’Connor, Georgie Henley, Elliot Cowan, Alexandra Moen, Philip Cumbus, Nadia Parkes, Aaron Cobham, Alan McKenna, Richard Pepper, Olly Rix, Jordan Renzo, Daniel Cerqueira, and Alicia Borrachero had been cast in the series.
On March 7, 2019, the series was given a May 5, 2019 premiere date.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 82% based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 7.13/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Spanish Princess blends soapy melodrama with beautifully rendered historical set-pieces to paint a rounder -- if still not fully realized -- portrait of an often overlooked queen." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 73 out of 100 based on 6 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
|1||"The New World"||May 5, 2019||0.1||0.393||N/A||N/A|
|2||"Fever Dream"||May 12, 2019||0.1||0.398||0.464||0.862|
|3||"An Audacious Plan"||May 19, 2019||0.1||0.456||0.503||0.959|
|4||"The Battle for Harry"||May 26, 2019||0.1||0.500||0.556||1.056|
|5||"Heart Versus Duty"||June 2, 2019||0.1||0.546||0.512||1.058|
|6||"A Polite Kidnapping"||June 9, 2019||0.1||0.493||TBD||TBD|
|7||"All is Lost"||June 16, 2019||0.1||0.509||TBD||TBD|
|8||"Destiny"||June 23, 2019||0.1||0.528||TBD||TBD|
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