Historical fiction/romance fans rejoice! STARZ greenlit The Spanish Princess, follow-up to last summer’s Tudor-England series The White Princess, and Emma Frost will return as the series’ Showrunner. Here’s what we know so far.
Friends, last summer the STARZ limited series The White Princess PWNED us. Yes, owned with a “p”, because it was just that juicy!
The White Princess (based on the Philippa Gregory novel of the same name and follow-up to The White Queen limited series) begins at the conclusion of England’s War of the Roses. Henry Tudor ascends the throne as Lancastrian King Henry VII married to Elizabeth of York, a princess from a rival house. The series unfolds as Henry tries to solidify his House’s hold on the English throne, when internal and external forces conspire to reclaim power for the House of York. Lizzie finds herself trapped in the middle of her growing love for Henry and their family vs. loyalty to her Mother and the Yorks. I told you, JUICY!
The historical drama is even more compelling because it’s uniquely told from the perspective of the women waging the ongoing battle for the English throne: Lizzie, Lady Margaret Beaufort (Henry’s mother), and Dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville (Lizzie’s mother).
By the end of The White Princess, Lizzie has made her decision to side with Henry and secure the Tudors’ claim by killing two challengers: the man claiming to be Lizzie’s brother, Prince Richard, and Lizzie’s cousin, Teddy, Earl of Warwick.
At the end of our recap, we speculated if we would have the chance to see the next part of story on-screen. I’m thrilled to share that today STARZ announced they’ve greenlit The Spanish Princess, a new original limited series based on Gregory’s The Constant Princess and The King’s Curse!
Emma Frost is returning as Showrunner and Executive Producer (!!!), and will be joined Matthew Graham (Life on Mars, Dr. Who) to helm this project.
Now, I haven’t met a Philippa Gregory novel that I haven’t loved, and this is definitely the case with The Constant Princess. The story follows Katherine of Aragon, as a teenager and Spanish princess in the court of her parents, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. When she’s 16, Katherine marries Arthur Tudor, future King of England. At first there’s animosity between the two, but quickly, passion and romance develops. Their romance only lasts about five months, and when Arthur realizes he’s dying, he and Katherine put together a plan to secure her place in England… My favorite part of the book is the relationship between Katherine and Arthur as they fall in love. I also enjoy watching Katherine develop a keen political mind, especially as it comes to managing Harry (Henry VIII), her brother-in-law and eventually husband and negotiating the intrigues of the English court.
I haven’t read The King’s Curse, but from what I know, the novel is about Maggie Pole, Lizzie’s cousin and Teddy’s older sister, who we’ve already met in The White Princess. We know that as a Plantagenet, Maggie was viewed as a threat to the Tudors, which is why Henry and Margaret Beaufort marry her off to Richard Pole, a Tudor loyalist. As we saw in TWP, Maggie makes the best of it and builds a life with her husband and children. Yet, when she realizes that Lizzie won’t fulfill her promises to free Teddy, Maggie is willing to conspire with the Duchess of Burgundy (House of York) to save her brother. Unfortunately, we know that doesn’t pan out. The King’s Curse follows Maggie in the aftermath, as an advisor and lady-in-waiting to Katherine, from her time as Arthur’s wife to becoming Henry’s Queen. And when that time comes, Maggie is the only one alive to recall Elizabeth Woodville’s curse, that whoever was responsible for the deaths of the York princes (Lizzie’s brothers), would see their male lines die off. Hmmm…
So, from this, we can deduce that The Spanish Princess will likely follow Katherine’s and Maggie’s stories as they negotiate Tudor England, which is not at all secure.
I CANNOT WAIT! According to Emma Frost on twitter, they’re looking for The Spanish Princess to air in early 2019.
Emma Frost is an absolute favorite because, from the beginning, she has challenged male-centered portrayals of the history and politics of this time. And with The Spanish Princess, Frost and her team promise, again, to highlight the perspectives of women, as well as the experiences of people of color living and working in 16th century London. As a cosmopolitan city, even in that time, we know London had long been a hub for people of all colors and creeds. I look forward to leaving the “White-washing” and “man-splaining” behind–it’s not historically accurate OR entertaining.
Here’s hoping that casting news is coming soon!