Based on the Philippa Gregory novels The Constant Princess and The King’s Curse and the sequel to the miniseries The White Queen and The White Princess, The Spanish Princess is about Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope, Game of Thrones, The Nun), a teenaged Spanish princess — so yes, the title is telling the truth — who will soon become Queen of England after marrying King Henry VIII.
Now, after the first part of the series, during which Catherine travelled to England to meet her husband by proxy, the heir to Henry VII, Arthur the Prince of Wales. As she and her lady in waiting struggled to fit in, she learned that Henry the Duke of York — Arthur’s arrogant brother — has been the one whose letters have romanced her. And when Arthur dies, she keeps the peace by marrying that brother, which brings us to the second part of the story.
The two royals have only gained in popularity and have the most glamorous court, but as Catherine prepares to give birth to an heir, Henry is going to war with France. And as the season progresses from 1511 to 1525, Harry’s eventual madness becomes a danger to our heroine*.
This series takes that history and dynamically brings it to modern life. It doesn’t shy away from the violence of the era, either. There’s an incredibly violent jousting accident in the first episode that may shock many.
Regardless, if you want someone in your life to care more about history, this would be a good show to get them watching.
*Henry VIII had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn and with only a daughter, had no true heir apparent. He sought to annul the marriage, but Pope Clement VII refused the request, which led to Henry proclaiming himself the head of the Church of England and cutting ties with the Catholic Church. Catherine refused to accept this as well as her demotion from queen to princess of Wales and desite being banished, she was still loved by the people.
The Spanish Princess Part 2 is noe available on DVD from Lionsgate.