Those missing Outlander and worried about a particularly long Droughtlander this year because of pandemic filming setbacks, take heart and shelter in Starz’s The Spanish Princess, which has returned for Part 2 in a whirlwind of romance, battles, and courtly intrigue. Last week’s epic Battle of Flodden, which saw Queen Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope) ride out wearing pregnancy armor (!!) topped our weekly Power Ranking. This week, in “Grief,” we’ll see the aftermath, and what that battle means for both England and Scotland, including how Henry VIII’s sister Meg Tudor (Georgie Henley) must step up and reassure the Scottish people not only that they can overcome this setback, but that she is their worthy leader. Her position in the country and at the throne is precarious at best, but despite her English heritage, she has embraced Scotland as her own, which she displays beautifully by singing a folk ballad of encouragement.
As I noted in my review of The Spanish Princess Part 2, “some things are consistent both within this overall anthology and in the series by which all Starz historical shows are measured: Outlander. There are equals parts battles and romances, and the set designs, careful costuming, cozy exteriors, and rainy gray moors create a fantastic aesthetic [...] and while history focuses on Henry and his mistresses and wives, The Spanish Princess continues to show us that Catherine is the beating heart of this court, and one of the only things holding it all together. While Henry is wrapped up in himself and his legacy, Catherine—over and over again—displays her unyielding optimism and loyalty to England itself. Like in the first installment, Charlotte Hope carries this series on her petite shoulders, summoning a constant inner strength from Catherine as she recovers from repeated losses. She is a warrior, after all—even though there is a simmering dread on our part knowing this is a battle she will not conquer.”
For more on our Spanish Princess coverage, check out our video recap of the premiere, plus interviews with the cast and showrunners.
The Spanish Princess airs Sunday nights on Starz; watch our exclusive sneak peek of Meg’s Scottish ballad in “Grief” below:
Allison Keene is the TV Editor of Paste Magazine. For more television talk, pop culture chat and general japery, you can follow her @keeneTV
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