Image courtesy of Starz
Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great get all the hype – but Catherine of Aragon has her devoted fans, to be sure. In fact, amidst all the Machiavellian machinations depicted in the Showtime series The Tudors (2007 – 2010), Henry VIII’s first queen comes off hands down the most virtuous person in the royal court.
Now with “period drama” mania reaching a fever pitch, Catherine at last gets her own series, The Spanish Princess – which will premiere at some as yet undetermined date this spring on Starz. The first trailer has just arrived to much chattering amongst the cognoscenti – and for very good reason. One is immediately struck by Harriet Walter’s Margaret Beaufort smirking the line: “I fear we shall have trouble with our princess.” Thus setting it up as a sort of post-feminist retelling of the 16th Century – despite Catherine having been not quite the rebel that that statement would suggest (she was notably devoutly Catholic all of her life).
Elliot Cowan (Da Vinci’s Demons) stars as Henry Tudor, and Game of Thrones‘ Charlotte Hope is, of course, Catherine of Aragon. And while the long-reigning Queen of England (1509 – 1533) is often painted as the victim of Ann Boelyn’s merciless scheming, The Spanish Princess actually depicts the early days of their marriage – when the two were genuinely in love.