It’s Festivus, aka, The Spanish Princess (2019), Starz’ new adaptation of a Philippa Fucking Gregory book about Catherine of Aragon, has premiered! Strap in for all sorts of historical wtf-ery and some deeply wackjob costuming by Phoebe de Gaye in the second of many recaps. Frock Flicks is a family: if I have to suffer, you have to suffer with me.
Kids, I’m doing this on an iPad, sorry if things are weird! Never doubt my commitment to sparkle motion!
Queen Isabella writes to say Catherine’s dowry that’s been paid so far should be returned with Catherine when she returns to Spain.
Queen Elizabeth is unconcerned about arriving at the funeral on time.
Margaret Beaufort wants to know where the rest of Catherine’s dowry is and plans to send her back to Spain when it arrives. She is rocking the sticky-uppy French hood and sideless surcoat.
Catherine refuses the litter arranged for her to attend Arthur’s funeral and instead rides a donkey, irritating Margaret Beaufort.
Catherine wears a quilted dress to the funeral and some questionable veils.
Prince Henry has gotten a haircut, feels bad about having been a shit to his brother, is polite to Catherine.
Queen Elizabeth wears her smallest crown to the funeral.
Lina and Rosa start wailing at the funeral, confusing all the English, who don’t quite say it but imply that the Spanish are weird and savage.
Margaret Beaufort confuses everyone by wearing historically accurate headwear.
Mags sent her children away when she learned there was sweating sickness, so Queen Lizzie thinks Arthur’s death is somehow her fault.
Catherine’s had her period, but hasn’t told anyone because she’s trying to stall being sent back to Spain (if she’s pregnant she gets to stay). Wait, I thought they just bled on themselves and it was erotic? ;)
Lina thinks this is a bad plan.
Mags’ husband warns her she needs to make up with Queen Lizzie, because otherwise the royals will go after their kids, the Poles having a claim to the throne.
Catherine busts out the non-mourning wear and heads out to seduce Henry.
I’m sorry to admit that I really liked her outfit on a pure fantasy level. I did however scoff at her years-too-soon and overly-schemey attempt to seduce Henry.
Princess Margaret is still pissed that she has to marry the Scottish King. Hey, maybe he’ll buy you a non-dumpy dress?
Margaret Beaufort finally takes the time to explain what Princess Margaret would have been taught her whole life, that royals marry for duty, pointing out that she was married at 13.
Catherine gets all super flirty with Henry via sword-fighting. I scoff at how overtly flirtatious she is, as well as her undergown having a stomacher front (i.e., front opening) as well as back opening *headdesk*.
Margaret Beaufort interrupts them and tells them off. She gets Catherine alone and insists on being told if she’s pregnant, even going so far as to grope Catherine’s boobs. Catherine stalls, trying to seem like she’s fuzzy on pregnancy symptoms and saying she didn’t get her period for months when her brother died.
Oviedo thinks these English men are gits, Lina is starting to think her marrying an Englishman isn’t so certain.
The two make out and it is HOT.
Lina’s dress is split in the back, which is more ridiculous than just about anything.
Catherine has “concerns about her household” and so wants to marry Henry and stay in England. Sure, Catherine was very conscious of her responsibility to her household and even ended up selling some her goods to pay her servants, but she stayed in England because her father and Henry VII couldn’t agree about who got her dowry money! Catherine announces she’ll say her marriage with Arthur wasn’t consummated. Lina has her doubts, but at least she’s got hand-sewn eyelets!
Henry is all dreamy about Catherine.
He runs into Lina and Rosa who are carrying hot water for Catherine’s bath. He does this SUPER GROSS THING where he sticks two fingers in the water…
…as though he’s metaphorically fingering Catherine. Lina and I are dubious.
Henry wears a RED SHIRT with LUDICROUS not-fooling-anyone-faux-blackwork. NO.
Lina has dinner with Oviedo in a tavern. He tells her the Inquisition has come to Spain and he can never go back. Some rough soldiers he has befriended come in; Lina realizes these are not the kind of guys she should be hanging with and leaves.
Catherine lures Henry out to the courtyard, not-so-casually informing Henry that she and Arthur never did the deed. Henry, who apparently is unclear on how any of this works, proposes, as though his future and any marriage plans being up to his parents wouldn’t have been drilled into him from birth.
Queen “Lizzie” (retch) is in confinement, but apparently no one at Starz understands what this means because she is outside. She starts going into labor.
Catherine tries to sell “Maggie” about the whole no-sex thing.
Mags isn’t buying any of it, says if asked she’ll tell the truth. Nonetheless Catherine writes her mom asking for permission to marry Henry, who, she says, IS KEEN ON IT AS THOUGH IT WOULDN’T BE ENTIRELY UP TO HIS FATHER.
Queen Lizzie’s labor isn’t going well. Princess Margaret is traumatized.
Lizzie gives birth to a stillborn girl, dies in the throes of lots of “the Tudors are cursed!” bullshit. Starz seems to think we actually gave two shits about The White Princess, as Henry tells her repeatedly that she’s the only woman he’s loved.
IMPORTANT HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: The next recap will be late! I’ll be swanning about at the Versailles fetes galantes next Monday, so both episode 4 and 5’s recaps will be posted two weeks from now! Désolé (but not really)!