The New World – | Review Score – 4/5
Fever Dream – | Review Score – 3.5/5
An Audacious Plan – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Battle for Harry – | Review Score – 4/5
Heart Versus Duty
A Polite Kidnapping
All is Lost
Edit: The episode recaps above do include massive spoilers about the story. If you haven’t watched the show already, do bear this in mind if you intend to read them before watching! We’ve also only uploaded the first 4 episode recaps although we watched the entire 8 for the purposes of this review. These will be uploaded closer to their air dates next month.
Adapted from the Phillipa Gregory novels “The Constant Princess” and “The King’s Curse”, The Spanish Princess is an 8 part miniseries mixing political intrigue with romance and historical fiction, following on from The White Princess. Set during Catherine Of Aragon’s early years, The Spanish Princess is as aesthetically pleasing as it is well written, even if it does twist some of the real history to serve the narrative. With some authentic dialogue, compelling characters and visually pleasing costume and set design, Catherine is brought to life here in a decent adaptation, making for a surprisingly easy watch throughout.
From her early years when she first stepped foot in England through to her eventual marriage to Henry VIII, The Spanish Princess follows the journey of Catherine Of Aragon as she tries to navigate the royal lineage of England whilst juggling familial pressure and the watchful eyes of Lady Margaret. With tumultuous drama, romance and a satisfying ending that wraps things up nicely, The Spanish Princess has enough here to make for an enjoyable watch nonetheless.
Of course with any historical fiction, some changes have been made to fit with the story. One of the most notable comes in the form of “Prince Harry” (Henry VIII) who was 10 when a 16 year old Catherine arrived in England. Here though, he’s depicted of a similar age to Catherine to help with the dramatization of events. To be fair though, the end of each episode does inform you that events and characters have been changed so some leniency can be given in this respect.
It’s hard to have too many qualms here though. The story itself unravels layers of politically charged drama at a good pace and as the episodes tick by this becomes far more important to the story, ultimately serving as the overarching narrative and most interesting part of the show. Of course, alongside this there’s a fair amount of tumultuous family feuds, as Catherine deals with Lady Margaret, whilst grappling with her part in the royal line to the throne.
Of course, those hungry for a series that depicts the time period and the characters with exact precision will be left disappointed. The Spanish Princess does well to nail a lot of the broader events that occurred during this time but some of the changes made to fit the narrative affect the true telling of events slightly. If you can look past that though, this series has a lot going for it.
The Spanish Princess is a well written, absorbing historical drama. It’s a series that manages to pack each of its episodes with a good balance of romance and drama whilst adding its own twist to this hugely popular time period in history. If you’re in the mood for a good historical drama and don’t mind some of the changes made to serve the narrative, The Spanish Princess is well worth checking out and a great follow-on from the other Philippa Gregory novels that have been adapted.