The Spanish Princess Recap: Episode 7


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 next of many recaps. Frock Flicks is a family: if I have to suffer, you have to suffer with me.

Rosa is going to pop home to Spain, because she “needs to see her family” and that’s something that ladies-in-waiting apparently do in this world. Catherine is supportive.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Mix and match — there’s the sleeves from the stretch velvet gown, with a striped purple, Victorian-seamed dress.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

“Maggie” Pole is so down on her luck that she’s mortar-and-pestle-ing herself and her kids are going hungry. She tries to steal an egg from one of her tenants (to feed her kids) and breaks it.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Rocking the Beatrix Potter apron!

Princess Mary is having her wedding gown made, for her proxy wedding to the future Charles V of Spain. Margaret Beaufort admonishes the seamstresses not to use too much trim, as weddings in England are religious affairs, unlike in filthy Spain.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Catherine turns up at court wanting to talk to the king. Stafford is smarmy and a jerk, and takes her to Margaret Beaufort, who tells her that Prince Henry will be marrying Catherine’s neice, Joanna’s daughter Eleanor (of Austria, future Queen of France).

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Aaaand we’ve got out first metal grommets (which, hey, most shows would have started throwing around much sooner) on Stafford.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Such a fan of the welding apron and the Thai christmas tree deco!

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Henry is busy praying about what to do, hasn’t made up his mind about who he will marry. As though it were up to him.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Lina is trying to reconcile herself to the fact that Oviedo is making money by working for Margaret Beaufort.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Vaguely 16th c. embroidery on Lina’s shift.

Catherine goes to court to try to find Prince Henry, who she has been told is already in Spain getting ready to marry Eleanor. She completely randomly runs into two little girls, an older blond and a younger brunette named (dun dun DUN) Anne, and asks them if they know where Prince Henry is. COULD THIS BE ANNE BOLEYN (and her older sister Mary)??!! ZOMG THE FORESHADOWING.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Sorry to screencap you with derp face, Anne.

Catherine has a dream in which Henry says he loves her, but then that kings can only play with love and he’ll marry Eleanor.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Raiding the Reign wardrobe for the dream sequence!

Catherine receives an Important Letter from her father, Ferdinand of Aragon, telling her that Joanna’s husband Philip has died, Joanna has gone crazy and been locked up, and Ferdinand is now king of “Spain” (in other words, Castile).

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

This is apparently what Lina wears under her black and red outfit best shown here. I have questions about those sleeve rolls – do they float in case of a water landing?

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Maggie Pole can’t feed her children. She drops her teenage son at her brother’s?, who is busy planning Edmund de la Pole’s rebellion. He asks her to support Pole’s cause, she refuses. Maggie then goes to STAY WITH CATHERINE; Catherine gives her yet another of her patented speeches about finding her destiny.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

ooo, it’s a reverse-head-necklace!

Catherine got another card to play – her father has made her Spain’s ambassador! She will be taking the previous ambassador’s rooms at court. Margaret Beaufort zings back, telling her she can arrange Princess Mary’s proxy marriage to Charles. Catherine zings back, saying that Margaret has a better claim to the throne than her son or grandson, if only England would allow a queen regnant.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Catherine’s windmill dress is so fucking ridiculous, but never more so than when she walks (or really, tromps) in it.

Catherine preps for the proxy wedding. “Maggie” Beaufort goes back to her brother’s? house and tells him she’s All In for the Edmund de la Pole rebellion, and she wants to end every last Tudor.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

I hope we see more of this number in another episode, so I can better make fun of it. It has weird strappy bits at the waist in front.

At the proxy wedding, Princess Mary can’t be found. Catherine finds her in the chapel and gives her marriage-y advice. Mary tells Catherine that Henry is at Hatfield House, near London.

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

Hot! Gable! Hood! Action!

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

On Mary too!

2019 The Spanish Princess episode 7

As the wedding ensues, Oviedo gives Margaret Beaufort a note that says that Edmund de la Pole is in England and names all the conspirators, including “Maggie” Pole. Soldiers show up and arrest all the conspirators, except maybe not Maggie…

The last episode — of this season — airs next week! Strap in!


About the author



Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

28 Responses

  1. Katie O'Donnell

    I’m going to miss this recaps lol. I could never subject myself to watching the show but this is entertaining as hell

    • M.E. Lawrence

      The Frock Flicks ladies do endure great suffering for us, and I know we all appreciate this.

      By the way, re. Margaret Beaufort’s “Hot! Gable! Hood! Action!”: Is the hot gable constructed of something resembling sisal? Can’t help thinking it would make a wonderful cat toy.

  2. Roxana

    The pain does end. What a load of crap!
    Oh look, Ferdinand does exist in this world, he probably just wishes he didn’t.
    There never was a de la Pole plot. His suspicious behavior amounted to assuming a title, Duke of Suffolk, he’d previously agreed to drop and being over friendly with Foreign rulers. Given his Yorkist ancestry this was grounds for acute suspicion.
    As a young woman Margaret Beaufort loved rich clothes and bright colors. She no longer considered such appropriate for herself but she would have wanted to show off her lovely granddaughter in the richest clothes possible to promote England’s status.

  3. Terézia Marková

    Wait, Margaret Pole, daughter of a prince, is unable to feed her children and resorts to stealing?! What the fuck?! Now granted, the actual Margaret Pole (at least according to Wikipedia) was in a financial peril after the death of her husband, and had to take refuge in a monastery, but this seems a bit much. Or would helping Margaret make the church seem not evil enough for your taste, Emma?!

    And while I am willing to accept that a betrothal of Mary Tudor to future Charles V. could’ve been in the works, did they really get so far with it?! I mean, political negotiations and an engagement are one thing, but proxy wedding, really?! As far as I know, proxy marriage rarely didn’t lead straight into an actual wedding. Breaking this kind of arrangement would’ve been a big deal!

    • Roxana

      I know, I know.
      When the high nobility worried about money it wasn’t because they could not fed their children but because their debts had gotten out of hand.
      I was wondering about that proxy marriage too. I’m pretty sure Mary’s involvement with Charles never got past the betrothal point. A proxy marriage would have committed both and Henry VII and Ferdinand both liked to keep their options open.

  4. picasso Manu

    I’m 200% behind Ann’s derp face. Honestly, I’ll let the children go… And Margaret Beaufort if she throws in the Thai stuff. The rest? Flamethrower for all!
    Is it just me, or does anybody else wants to kick emo Henry in the nuts and slap Catherine like there is no tomorow?
    Just to get that windmill started, ya’ll. ;)

    • Roxana

      By the way, Anne and Mary were at best toddlers at the time and wouldn’t have been let anywhere near the court.
      Even royal children were kept at a distance, spending most of their time at one or another of the so called nursery palaces in easy reach of the great houses where their parents would keep court and break away for visits when possible. The peripatetic and often separated life of royal and Noble families is the most ignored of period details.
      Henry and his sister’s shared a household usually based at Eltham. Henry VII, Elizabeth and Arthur all had their own households allowing them to circulate freely and independently around the numerous royal residences. Arthur seems to have spent a lot of time with his father. They were close and Henry Sr. was terribly proud of him. Elizabeth apparently divided her time between holding court with her husband and supervising her younger children

      • Kendra

        Yeah, the idea that the Boleyn girls would just be wandering around “court” as though it was a fixed location that all nobles lived at is preposterous.

        • James

          You refer to Maggie’s “brother?” several times. It’s not – it’s George Nevill, 5th Baron Bergavenny. And, depending on the age they went with for Anne Boleyn, she’s about 5/6 here and Mary is 6/7ish.

  5. Sam Marchiony

    I’m honestly surprised they didn’t age up Anne like they did Henry— watch her be played by a totally new actress [gag] next season. One of the weirdest things about the collection of Starz PFG series is how they insist on using the same actors even when they’re spanning decades of time to the point where it’s stretching believability. The idea of Charlotte Hope playing Catherine during the divorce proceedings is laughable.

    • Kendra

      Oh god, they probably will stick with the same actress, and then everyone watching it will go “huh? I don’t understand, she’s still young and pretty!”

      • Sam Marchiony

        “We’ve been married 24 years, and I’ve had multiple pregnancies and miscarriages, but I’m still played by a 28 year old, lol!”
        The alternative is that they don’t do the divorce until they inevitably try to reboot TOBG for their next series and swap her out for a new actress.

  6. Charity

    My personal favorite line? Margaret Beaufort: “I know a schemer when I see one, and that’s a Spanish schemer in a skirt!” AHAHAHA.

    Every once in awhile I’m like chill with this show for 14 seconds and then they do something stupid and completely out of period, like EVERYONE ASSUMING PRINCE HARRY WAS GOING TO SAIL AWAY TO SPAIN TO GET MARRIED.

    First, his bride-to-be is like 9 years old.
    Second, he’s leaving England to do this? Wut?

    • Kendra

      I meant to rant about that but forgot, thanks! Yes! First of all, there’d be negotiations and then a proxy wedding and then THE BRIDE WOULD BE SHIPPED OFF (at some point) TO HER HUSBAND’S COUNTRY NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

      • Charity

        Oh, but dis is PFG’s world, as adapted by Emma Frost, who thinks Wikipedia is a source.

    • Terézia Marková

      And that’s in the same episode they establish the practice of marriage by proxy. Even later, when the marriage by proxy wasn’t a thing anymore, royal bridgegrooms never crossed borders of their own countries in order to marry, since, you know, the couple was going to live in the husband’s country anyway (well, most of the time – for example, Ferdinand and Isabella married in Castille in secret).

      • Charity

        Yes. My other favorite thing, Margaret Beaufort telling Katharine how kings must sacrifice personal desire to serve their kingdom. She should have just said, “DUH, I KNOW.” ;)

  7. Nzie

    “Such a fan of the welding apron and the Thai christmas tree deco!” BWAHAHAHAHA! Omg too perfect. Exactly the look, too.

    So many things wrong, so easy to know how wrong with the barest bit of attention to, you know, how things worked in the period. But none of us are holding our breath here. It’s a Tony Stark eye roll from start to finish.

  8. Susan Pola Staples

    Still as effing inaccurate and stupid as ever.
    You really deserve a reward – a week with four of your favourite costume designers comes to mind.😇

  9. Andrew Schroeder

    I sometimes wonder if veteran costume drama actors like Harriet Walters know that they’re wearing garbage when they’re cast in this schlock.

    • Terézia Marková

      You must be blind to not see it. I am more concerned about the trashy writing, and how well aware of it some actors must be.

  10. Lady Hermina De Pagan

    ok, I wanted to smack both Catherine and Margaret Beaufort in the mouth with the lines about Margaret having the stronger claim to the throne than her son. they both would have been well aware that Catherine actually had the stronger claim to the English throne through her great grandmothers Catherine of Lancaster and Philippa of Lancaster who were the daughter of John of Gaunt from his legitimate marriages to Blanche and Constance. Where are Margaret was from the illegitimate line of Katherine Swynford and her son John Beaufort.
    I cannot imagine that she was as rude, xenophobic, and dismissive of Catherine as portrayed in this shit show. She also would have been wise enough to know that Catherine had no control over her dowery being paid. Personally, I would love to see a Margaret Beaufort story told, instead of her being a prop in another person’s story.

    • Terézia Marková

      And, of course, despite the fact that she helped him in gaining alliances and stuff, she didn’t actually win the Battle Of Bosworth, which he primarily based his claim on, to the point that he delayed his wedding to Elizabeth Of York for his coronation – just to show that his claim isn’t dependent on this marriage. You know, right of conquest and all.

    • Patrick Keogh

      Yes and Arthur Henry VIII had both Lancastrian and York blood. Which was the whole point of their parents’ marriage. Unite the claims therefore immediately one-upping any other claims by having as much royal blood as possible.

    • M.E. Lawrence

      “Personally, I would love to see a Margaret Beaufort story told…” Agreed–just so it’s not based on a PFG novel.

  11. Roxana

    It seems Margaret Pole did suffer some financial stress after her husband’s death. Or at least made a great show of it. It seems kind of odd that a landed estate sufficient to keep the family comfortably during Pole’s life suddenly became spectacularly insufficient after his death.
    Margaret was her brother’s heiress and she badly wanted those lands and titles. Playing up the poor little widow was a clear means to that end. Didn’t work on Henry VII though. Margaret had to wait till Henry VIII’s accession to get her title and her lands. BTW she could afford to pay Henry five hundred marks for said title.
    Margaret liked money and she was no more scrupulous about getting and keeping it than anybody else. She and her eldest son tried to force her second son’s widow, a great heiress, into a convent so her money would stay in the Pole family.

    • Patrick Keogh

      Oh wow, they got their story wrong for “Maggie”(gag). I’m shook!