The Spanish Princess, the highly anticipated sequel to popular Starz series The White Queen and The White Princess, wrapped filming earlier this Fall, and now we finally have our first images from the upcoming drama to drool over.
Based on two more of Philippa Gregory’s bestselling novels about the women connected to the Tudor family, The Constant Princess and The King’s Curse, The Spanish Princess will focus on King Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
A large part of Catherine’s life will likely be familiar to viewers, as she was the unfortunate queen thrown over and eventually divorced so that Henry VIII might marry Anne Boleyn. (Who was then later beheaded because Henry was honestly a terrible person, but that’s another story.)
However, all of that happened well into Catherine’s life, after she and Henry had been married for over 20 years. The Spanish Princess aims to tell the story of Catherine we aren’t as familiar with – the girl who came to England as the young Infanta of Spain, confident in her destiny to rule, and betrothed to Henry’s older brother Arthur.
Cable network Starz released a pair of photos from the new series via magazine Entertainment Weekly, giving us our first proper look at Charlotte Hope as the young monarch-to-be (complete with strawberry blonde hair!) and Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael as Lady Margaret Pole, whom fans of The White Princess will surely remember.
Unlike Gregory’s novels, though, The Spanish Princess will also focus on several people of color who made the journey from Spain with Catherine, in an attempt to tell a more diverse and inclusive story.
As creator Emma Frost explained to EW:
“We discovered very early on that this was an incredible opportunity to tell the stories of people of color,” says Frost. Here, we see the true story of crossbow maker Oviedo and Catalina de Cardones, an African Iberian woman who served as Catherine’s lady-in-waiting for 24 years.
While working on The White Princess, Frost was eager to tell more inclusive stories, but a historical advisor informed her that would be anachronistic. “The most cursory Google search will tell you that isn’t true,” she remarks. “There are records of people of color right through from the Roman times in England. In the last couple of years, there have been a couple of extraordinary books written that have gone back to parish records and the real source material to chart through the lives of people of color.”
Charlotte Hope stars as the young queen Catherine, joined by Stephanie Levi-John as her lady-in-waiting, Catalina. Other major players include Angus Imrie as Prince Arthur, Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Margaret Beaufort and Ruairi O’Connor as Prince Harry, who will one day become King Henry VIII. Elliot Cowan and Alexandra Moen will take over the roles of King Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth – the White Princess herself.
The Spanish Princess is slated to premiere on Starz sometime in the Spring of 2019. Are you looking forward to it? Let’s discuss?