Succession crises, steamy intercourse, a battle for the soul of a nation—have to be one other installment of The Spanish Princess. The Starz drama returns for a second season on October 11 to conclude the story of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, and ELLE.com has your unique have a look at the primary trailer. Although historical past tells us how this royal love story ends, it’s Catherine’s aspect—full with righteous indignance, well-intended deceit, and tragic upheaval—that paints a daring portrait of a lady historical past likes to mock.
“The historical past books begin with the top of any story Catherine might presumably have,” co-showrunner Emma Frost tells ELLE.com. “This undesirable, middle-aged, quite pious spouse who must be put aside in favor of younger, attractive Anne Boleyn. That is not her story.”
The primary season of The Spanish Princess exploded that narrative, casting Catherine (Charlotte Hope) as a younger royal greater than able to making her personal choices—together with one that might rearrange the form of the British monarchy. A fast refresher: The true-life Catherine, daughter of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain, was born to marry Prince Arthur, the firstborn son of the King and Queen of England. However lower than 5 months after their wedding ceremony, he succumbed to sickness. Catherine maintained their marriage was by no means consummated, and wed Arthur’s brother, Henry VIII, seven years. In The Spanish Princess’s retelling, Catherine had, in actual fact, slept with Arthur earlier than his demise, however determined to protect Spain’s alliance with England and set up herself on the British throne, she lied—and received Henry’s (Ruairi O’Connor) coronary heart. For what it’s price, historical past reveals the love between the king and his first spouse was very a lot actual. “All of the proof is that Catherine was the love of his life,” says Frost. “He would solely have married her if he liked her, as a result of there have been significantly better wives on paper than this secondhand spouse of his brother.”
The brand new season opens with Catherine and Henry thriving in a Camelot of their very own making: settled on the throne, with the enjoyment of a new child son and a burgeoning alliance with Spain because of Catherine’s father. However household tragedy and political betrayal threaten their joyful ending, and Catherine rushes to restore the injury earlier than it shatters her future. “We begin together with her having all the things she ever wished, which permits us to look at the connection between gender and energy,” Frost says. “How her success or failure as a lady impacts her potential to train or retain that energy.”
Catherine’s home and political lives merge to supply one of the hanging photos of the season: the queen pregnant and main English troops into battle in her husband’s absence. It’s a second primarily based in historical past: Although the true Catherine of Aragon did not battle, she rode onto the battlefield totally armored at seven months pregnant, delivering a rousing speech to encourage her military in opposition to Scottish forces.
“It is 1,000,000 miles away from what individuals assume they find out about Catherine of Aragon,” Frost says. “We write her an actual Henry V at Agincourt,” co-showrunner Matthew Graham provides of the onscreen speech.
Because the trailer reveals, Catherine’s incapacity to offer delivery to a dwelling inheritor to the British throne performs an integral function in her demise. It additionally drives a wedge between herself and her biggest ally, her beloved lady-in-waiting Lina (Stephanie Levi-John). “It is a very fashionable resonance in monitoring feminine friendship and the way you navigate when your finest good friend has the factor that you really want,” Frost says.
Total, it’s a season rife with heartbreak, as Catherine struggles to maintain her household, marriage, and a whole nation at peace. As we all know, she in the end fails. “By the top we could discover her as anyone we acknowledge from the historical past books,” Frost provides, “however hopefully remodel everybody’s notion of who she was, what she achieved in her life, and what she stood for.”
The Spanish Princess Half 2 premieres Sunday, October 11 on Starz.
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