Catherine of Aragon’s story is far from over…and Starz just committed to bringing the rest of it to audiences.
On Monday, the network announced they had ordered an expansion of The Spanish Princess designed to bring the story of Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, to its dramatic conclusion. Starz has ordered an additional eight episodes to the limited series to bring the next chapter of the English queen’s story to an end.
“We are thrilled to tell the next chapter of Catherine of Aragon’s story as she negotiates war, politics and marriage to the most dangerous King of England,” commented showrunners Emma Frost and Matthew Graham in a statement. “As a company that always produces compelling and dynamic projects, Starz has been a great creative partner and we look forward to concluding Catherine’s journey with them.”
Frost and Graham will continue as showrunners, while stars Charlotte Hope (Catherine of Aragon) and Ruairi O’Connor (Henry VIII) will reprise their roles. Additional returning cast, as well as new cast members are still to be announced.
The current iteration of The Spanish Princess premiered on Starz on May 5 and has shown steadily rising viewership. The series began with a young Catherine of Aragon’s journey to England where she is to marry Prince Arthur, Henry VIII’s older brother, and become Queen of England. When Arthur dies, Catherine is flung into a dangerous web of political intrigue as she attempts to lay claim to her destiny and honor the desires of her heart.
The series focuses mostly on the run-up to Catherine’s marriage to Henry VIII, before she became his first wife and a more familiar historical figure to many. Starz’s statement describes these next eight episodes as a continuation of their story. ” Presiding over the most glamorous court in Europe and beloved by their people, together they create an England that is proud, confident and can withstand the threat of foreign wars,” the logline reads. “But when Catherine struggles to produce an heir, her marriage and her life are under threat, and her past comes back to haunt her. Despite proving herself a politician, a diplomat, a national inspiration and even a military commander, Catherine must battle to save her love and her King and protect her adopted country from chaos.”
The Spanish Princess is the third installment of historical limited series drawn from the novels of Philippa Gregory, following The White Queen and The White Princess. Both previous series were also overseen by Emma Frost.
“Emma and Matthew have created an alluring portrait of one of the most familiar narratives in English history,” said Starz COO Jeffrey Hirsch in a statement. “Viewers are intrigued by Catherine of Aragon’s story and this eight-episode conclusion will give us the opportunity to tell it in its entirety.”
Further details, including the question on everyone’s mind — who will play Anne Boleyn? — are still to come.