Cast Announced for New Starz Period Drama 'The Spanish Princess'

Charlotte Hope in a Starz promotional photo for "The Spanish Princess" (Photo: Starz)
Charlotte Hope in a Starz promotional photo for "The Spanish Princess" (Photo: Starz)

Women rule, especially when it comes to Starz’s upcoming new period drama The Spanish Princess.

The series kicked off production last week, followed by an announcement of its major cast and a sincere vow that women will be involved at every stage of the series’ production.

Emma Frost – who helmed previous Phillipa Gregory-based sagas The White Queen and The White Princess – is back as showrunner and executive producer, once again alongside Life on Mars’ Matthew Graham. But that’s that not all. The entire series will also be helmed by female directors. (Since this anthology has turned so strongly on the female perspective of history, this is a particularly exciting development.)

Actress Charlotte Hope will play Catherine of Aragon – our titular Spanish Princess. Hope is probably best known for her role as Myranda Royce on Game of Thrones, but this will no doubt be a breakout role for her. (Just look at all the stuff Jodie Comers been doing since she played Elizabeth of York!)

She’ll be joined by Stephanie Levi-John as Catherine’s confidante and lady-in-waiting, Lina de Cardonnes. Other major players joining the show include Angus Imrie as Prince Arthur, Dame Harriet Walter as Lady Margaret Beaufort, Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael as Margaret Pole, 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 Tudor-era story of Spanish Princess is not quite a sequel to The White Queen and The White Princess, but…it kind of is. It’s probably more accurate to consider it as part of an anthology. The story is the next chapter in the Tudor saga, even if none of the cast members from the other two properties will be part of it. (Though their characters will be.)

Like its two predecessors, The Spanish Princess is also based Gregory’s best-selling historical novels. This time, the show will combine The Constant Princess – Gregory’s first novel of Catherine, about her arrival in England – with The King's Curse, which tells the story of the end of her marriage to Henry VIII.

Hope herself seems pretty chuffed about the opportunity to play Catherine.

Given this source material, the TV adaptation could easily carry us through the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign. Will we get to Anne Boleyn or the events of the next chronological Gregory novel, The Other Boleyn Girl? Stranger things have happened.

However, the official synopsis seems to indicate that this series will focus primarily on the earliest years of Catherine’s life in England. (Or maybe that means we’ll actually get a Season 2?)

Catherine of Aragon, is the beautiful young princess of Spain who was promised the English throne since she was a child. She arrives in a grey, rain-lashed England with her glorious and diverse court including her lady-in-waiting Lina. She is Princess of Wales now, but when her husband Prince Arthur dies suddenly, the throne seems lost to Catherine until she devises an audacious plan to set her sights on the new heir, the charismatic and headstrong Prince Harry who will one day rule as King Henry VIII.

The official press release also promises that the series will not only tell this story specifically from the point of view of the women involved, but that The Spanish Princess will also “shed light on a previously untold corner of history: the lives of people of color, living and working in 16th century London.”

This all makes perfect since, since Catherine arrived in England with a large and diverse Spanish retinue, many of whom stayed in the country through all her troubles and eventual coronation.

Production is officially under way on the new drama, which doesn’t currently have an airdate as yet. Hopefully, it’ll arrive before the end of the year, but it’s feasible it could take until 2019. The sooner the better, if you ask me!

Are you looking forward to The Spanish Princess? Let’s discuss!