The queen is back, and she’s ready to do battle. Starz has announced a premiere date for the second season of The Spanish Princess. The network also revealed a new trailer for the historical drama, which shows a pregnant Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope) leading the English troops in a fight against the Scottish army. But even as the new Queen of England assumes the role she believes is her destiny, there are plenty of signs that her life won’t turn out as she hopes.
‘The Spanish Princess’ Season 2 premieres Oct. 11
Season 2 of The Spanish Princess begins Sunday, Oct. 11 on Starz. Season 1 focused on young Catherine’s efforts to secure her place on the English throne after her first husband, Prince Arthur, died shortly after their wedding. By season’s end, she’d won Prince Harry’s (Ruairi O’Connor) heart and was about to become queen.
Despite the happy ending, there were already hints of the distrust and suspicion that will eventually destroy the royal couple’s marriage. Though Catherine had steadfastly stuck to the lie that she is a virgin, Henry appeared to suspect his bride wasn’t being entirely honest. Eventually, he’ll become convinced their marriage is invalid, leading him to break with the Catholic church so he can divorce Catherine and marry another woman.
Catherine of Aragon goes to war
The action-packed trailer for the upcoming episodes of The Spanish Princess shows those small cracks in Henry and Catherine’s relationship are about to become much deeper. When the season begins, the newly crowned Henry VIII and his queen are in love and expecting a child. But their happiness doesn’t last. The baby dies, Henry heads off to war with France, and a pregnant Catherine — wearing some custom maternity armor — leads the English army against Scotland in his absence. But all of Catherine’s strength is useless if she can’t produce a male heir. By the trailer’s end, she and her husband are at odds and he is flirting with other women, perhaps his future wife, Anne Boleyn.
I wish you would be a wife, instead of a soldier,” Henry tells Catherine.
“Then I’d be someone else,” she replies.
Catherine’s struggle to have a child is at the heart of season 2
Catherine and Henry’s failure to have a surviving male child is at the heart of this season of The Spanish Princess.
“A huge part of this season is something that’s so rarely written about or portrayed on TV, which is a woman’s struggle, or a couple’s struggle, to have a child, and the absolute anguish that can cause,” showrunner Emma Frost told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year.
Catherine’s fertility issues don’t just drive a wedge between her and Henry. They also affect her relationship with her friend and lady-in-waiting (Stephanie Levi-John).
“Lina and Catherine’s relationship will come under pressure in the way that modern women’s relationships do sometimes when one person has something that the other person desperately wants,” Frost said.
A new perspective on a familiar story
The unhappy end of Catherine’s story is well known. But Frost told Elle she sees The Spanish Princess as casting the queen in a new, more sympathetic light.
“By the end we may find her as somebody we recognize from the history books,” she said. But she added that she hopes the show will “transform everyone’s perception of who she was, what she achieved in her life, and what she stood for.”
The Spanish Princess Season 2 premieres Sunday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.
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