The Spanish Princess – Christine Morgan [Episode 7]

Back again with another post from Christine and The Spanish Princess! Its the second last episode of the season, are you excited that its been renewed for a second season? Personally I’ve been slacking again. I’ve restarted The Tudors because my boyfriend wanted to watch it, but rest assured I’ll be having him watch this show!

The Spanish Princess
Episode 7: “All is Lost”
By: Christine Morgan

For a series that has given us perfectly titled shows and episodes with clear and exciting purpose, our penultimate episode of season 1 was bit of a “mayo” episode. Following last week’s episode about Juana the Mad, which diverted our attention from the main characters, but gave us a wonderfully interesting character, this episode was just one diversion too many. There are so many things that needed to happen this week if we’re going to get a decent ending next week and yet the whole thing was an extension of last week’s problems. While I did not just LOVE our offering this time, there are some pretty fun secondary/tertiary plots we can play “what’s the real story” with. From Princess Mary to Eleanor of Castile, let’s chat about our small side characters this week!

Another Royal Wedding…sort of

I totally called that Mary Tudor would get her own marriage story last week after noticing that her screen time increased all within the time span of 1 episode. What fun to see the little princess in her proxy gown. While 11 is undoubtedly too young for any of this, the child within me that loved gowns and dress up found this to be a really adorable costume episode! Of course Margaret Beaufort doesn’t want her granddaughter to look TOO ostentatious, after all, she is a princess of England.

Here are some of the facts about this marriage agreement. The idea that Princess Mary and Archduke Charles should be married came about in December of 1507. While her marriage to the archduke never took place in person, this “marriage” lasted until 1513 at which time Thomas Wolsey convinced Henry VIII that a marriage alliance with France would help keep the peace following the French war of 1512-1514. We can always count on Wolsey to work in the best interest of France!

Upon first look, many sources explain that the relationship between Mary and Charles was never official, which is why the treaty was easy to break. However, the ceremony we saw on screen WAS in fact a proxy wedding. The two young heirs were officially married by proxy on December 17th, 1508 and Mary took her vows with the proxy, Sieur de Berghes, surrounded by English court at Richmond and the vows were even ratified. This was an official marriage by anyone’s standards. However, the husband and wife never did meet because a series of failed treaties and increased tensions always hindered the final exchange of Mary into Spain. By 1513, the people of Spain also favored the idea of having a queen that truly represented and understood their culture. All of this was considered and a formal dissolution of the marriage took place.

Break Up With Your Girlfriend…

As everyone could’ve expected, our B-romance between Oviedo and Lina has remained complicated and has quickly moved from fresh and exciting to a bit exhausting. The two characters have so many fundamental differences and values that it really doesn’t seem like this is going to work out. Historically, Catalina does marry a man named Oviedo and return to Spain (possibly Grenada), but they clearly have a few things to work out.

My biggest peeve right now is the conflict of religion. Oviedo insists on having a wedding in the Islamic tradition with a feast after the ceremony even though he knows Lina is Catholic and serves a Catholic royal family. Also, where does Oviedo think he’s going to find an Imam in merry England ca. 1508? Can someone explain this to me?

On the flip side, Oviedo’s main objective is to make money, earn his place at court, and support a family. He is able to do all of this by working for Margaret Beaufort. Not only is he consistently employed and treated with respect but, honey those checks do not bounce. Regardless of all of this Lina can’t seem to wrap her head around just how good they’ve got it and is constantly picking fights with her fiancé about her allegiance to Katherine of Aragon and how working for Margaret Beaufort is working for the enemy. In my head I’m just singing, “break up with your girlfriend, cuz I’m bored.”

The Disappearance of Harry

Finally! A bit of intrigue and mystery when it comes to our leading man! The story is that a double-stitched alliance has been made, which includes a betrothal of Prince Harry to Eleanor of Spain. Not only has Katherine’s love interest become engaged right out from under her nose, but also he is supposedly already en route to Spain. This rumor is quickly debunked, though Katherine still can’t figure out where he is hiding. So is any of this based in historic fact? And if so why didn’t Harry end up with Eleanor?

Eleanor of Castile was born in 1498 and was an Infanta of the Spanish royal family and an Archduchess of the Hapsburg Empire through her parents Juana of Castile and Philip of Austria. With a pedigree like that, I have to admit her brief betrothal to Prince Harry makes sense. However, their agreement was broken upon Prince Harry’s ascent to the English throne in 1509, at which time he declared he would marry Eleanor’s aunt, Katherine of Aragon. After several failed negotiations for Eleanor’s marriage into the French or Polish royal families, she eventually became Queen of Portugal and later, Queen of France as the second wife to Francis I.

Easter Eggs!

The episode featured a cameo of a young Boleyn family! I hope you all caught that too because it was a real moment. Little Mary and her sister Anne Boleyn are in the courtyard at court and have an exchange with Katherine. I loved seeing this interaction because it really does highlight the age difference between Katherine and Anne, but it also hints at the rising fortune of the Boleyns that the whole family is living at court.

Additionally, when we finally discover Harry’s hiding place, it is identified as the Royal Palace at Hatfield. For those of you who really follow Tudor history, you will recognize this as the house where Anne Boleyn’s daughter, Elizabeth was raised. While it belonged to Henry VIII, this house has some ties with Anne Boleyn and was the location of a highly contentious encounter between Boleyn and Mary Tudor, Henry’s daughter with Katherine of Aragon. The palace was not officially completed until 1611 and has seen some renovations over the years, but in its original Tudor state, it would have been small and cozy- the perfect starter home for a princess.

Gear up for next week’s finale, everyone! Show runners have confirmed that they wrote season 1 to be a stand-alone just in case they weren’t picked up for season 2. That means we SHOULD get another royal wedding next week. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got my tiara ready for the celebration. Questions or comments? Let me know! Find me on Twitter @msChristinemo or on Facebook, @UntitledHistoryProject. Also, if you have any other great shows that you’d like to see reviewed, tell me your ideas!


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I'm a lover of all things Tudor, and historical - fiction or fact. My aim is to bring together writers of all calibers to share their work with like minded people!

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