Two weeks ago, we were given a free weekend of STARZ. It was for four days, but I found out about it on the 5th, I tried to take as much advantage as possible, but I was not happy with myself because I had started watching The Wife on demand on the 6th and wasn’t allowed to finish it. Thankfully, I din’t get too far into it so that helps out a lot. We did get a couple of new movies for our folder, but my main objective out of the whole thing was completing The Spanish Princess!
Even though, I have never read Philippa Gregory’s books about the Plantagenet and Tudor families, I have been a fan of the film and television versions. I actually became interested in Anne Boleyn after watching Natalie Portman play her in The Other Boleyn Girl. Unfortunately, after I saw The Tudors series created by Michael Hirst, and saw Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Natalie Dormer as King Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, and Anne Boleyn, I was kind of blown away with their chemistry. so I haven’t been able to watch the previous ever since.
I have talked about The White Queen on here, so it’s only right to continue sharing my thoughts about this third series about Catherine of Aragon.
Catherine was the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. At the time when women were looked upon as the lesser sex to royal, these two were co-rulers and fought hard to stay together for the sake of both kingdoms. After Henry Tudor became king and married Elizabeth of York, they welcomed their first son, Arthur, Prince Of Wales. Once he was born, it was important to send a message to everyone that he was the true heir of the English empire, so Henry sought out an opportunity between royal families and arranged a marriage between Arthur and the youngest princess of the Spanish throne: Catherine of Aragon, thus she would become the Princess Of Wales.
Since I know the story of the end of Catherine and Henry VIII’s relationship ends and the fact that he breaks away from the Catholic faith to be able to divorce her in the first place,. it was honestly so hard to learn of how much he loved her after his brother Arthur died. So, being able to watch it flourish on screen in a very fictional way, was a bit difficult but it also made me love the strength of Catherine even more. I have been a strong supporter to Anne Boleyn for many, many years but the way she was treated is so heartbreaking even now.
What I Really Thought
What I really liked about this series was the fact that it gave you all of the stories of Catherine’s life while in England, as she was the wife of both heirs to the throne. And what was left after the final episode of The White Princess, so there’s the story of Margaret Pole and her family. You even get a snippet of Princess Margaret in the process of becoming the newly wife and Queen of Scotland.
One thing that I really enjoyed about this series over the others were you got another element to the story, Catherine came with many ladies-in-waiting when she first came to England, but the two that were featured on the show: Lina and Rosa were very helpful because you got to see their point of view being apart court life. If you were a ladies-in-waiting to the Queen or Princesses, you had a better chance in marrying into a wealthy family. So, the fact that their stories were featured will tell what’s to come when they finally start talking about the Boleyn sisters. As they were both ladies-in-waiting to Catherine.
I have to say, if you hated Margaret Beaufort in the previous series, you definitely will not like her in this one either! I still don’t think she ever acted like that though, but I do believe she loved her son very much and knew in her heart that he deserved the throne because of his bloodline, but the way she is portrayed towards others was really rude! I don’t know if it was because she was getting older and her attitude needed to be even worse than before. The last episode actually made me cry a little because as she realizes her only son, the King has died, we are given a flashback of the day she gave birth to him at 13 years old. You quickly realize that this was a real person, she had a difficult time as both a mother and woman of the differentiating crown.
I think Charlotte Hope, Angus Imrie and Ruairi O’Connor were amazing! I was a bit worried because I didn’t want to judge Charlotte, who plays Catherine because she didn’t look like she could pass for someone in the Spanish Royal family, but I was quickly told by many other fans of the series and supporters of Queen Catherine in general that she never looked like a true Spanish woman like what we would consider one today, and that the real Catherine of Aragon had strawberry-blonde hair! As a historian of any kind, it is normal to find out what you’ve been told all this time is really false, so you can literally deny the claims or accept it and go forward.
After I finished, I was happy that I managed to complete all 8 episodes in basically two days but I knew what is to come and instantly became depressed because they literally bleed out their emotions that I will be lucky to make it through in one piece! Thankfully it’ll take a little more time for them to film season two, but internally I am not ready for it!
What did think of The Spanish Princess? How are you with these fictionalization stories of these big historical figures? Who do you think they should talk about next, Anne Boelyn, Princess Mary, or Mary, Queen of Scots?