Don't lose your head! Get your first look at Anne Boleyn on The Spanish Princess
We know you're excited, but don't lose your head.
Henry VIII's second wife Anne Boleyn is finally making her appearance on this Sunday's series finale of The Spanish Princess. Eagle-eyed viewers will note that Anne has circled in the background throughout much of this season, being selected to accompany Princess Mary to France. Her father, Thomas, known as Wiltshire, has, of course, remained one of Henry's most loyal advisers throughout.
But on Sunday's finale, she finally gets named (as does Thomas — it's also the first time we'll hear the word "Boleyn" all season, and that was by design). EW has your exclusive first official look of Alice Nokes as the ambitious young Anne, getting raucous with Henry at dinner and officially joining Catherine's cadre of ladies-in-waiting.
Anne will figure in to the continued demise of Henry (Ruairi O'Connor) and Catherine's (Charlotte Hope) marriage as we near the end, but she's not quite as prominent as you might imagine. For creators Matthew Graham and Emma Frost, that was both a way to honor history and their beloved heroine, Catherine of Aragon — as well as a means of avoiding overdoing a story that's been told hundreds of times over.
"The thing about Anne Boleyn, as far as we were concerned, is that she's very, very familiar territory for any story that involves Henry," Graham tells EW. "She's such an explosively famous figure. She is the defining, wrongly in our opinion, wife of Henry VIII's reign. It would just steal the dramatic oxygen from the story we wanted to tell."
"It was so important to us that we put her in the context of the time that Catherine was married to Henry," he adds. "Anne was very little in court. She was one of the ladies-in-waiting, and she was simply another pretty girl that could catch his eye. We didn't want to give her any more credence than that."
The beginning of Anne's tale when it comes to her life with Henry is the end of Catherine's. Prior to that, she barely registered in their lives. Graham and Frost wanted to emphasize that in their storytelling. "We didn't want there to be a big unveiling of Anne Boleyn," Frost tells EW. "Like she suddenly arrives at court for the first time and Henry first lays eyes on her and falls in love or something. We wanted her just to be there in the background. For the audience to realize, when they do understand who she is, that she's been there all along. That was the reality of it. She was Thomas Boleyn's daughter. It wasn't until Henry's marriage to Catherine had really hit problems that he even looked at anybody else in terms of them being a potential wife, so we wanted to push her into the background."
If there's one thing we've learned about Anne Boleyn over the centuries it's that she's hardly satisfied with staying in the background, but Frost and Graham are exceedingly protective of their Spanish princess. "From a personal point of view, we've lived with Catherine so long I don't want that witch coming in," quips Graham. "I don't want her anywhere near my Catherine."
The Spanish Princess concludes Sunday at 8 p.m. on Starz.
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