Appreciation for the Princess

I didn’t think anything could compete with Outlander. But Starz kept suggesting this other show called The Spanish Princess, so I decided to check it out. If the previews were any indication, it was going to be good.

The Spanish Princess nearly blows Outlander out of the water. The waves would definitely make James Alexander Malcom MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan) seasick.

It’s got a little bit of everything: romance, drama, and of course, royal politics. It’s basically Henry VIII from the point of view of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Did I mention Catherine is Spanish? It’s probably common knowledge, but it’s very important to me. Because whenever anyone mentions Spanish – or Spain, for that matter – my ears perk all the way up. Part of me wishes they used more Spanish in the show, but the other part of me remembers that Catherine speaks English flawlessly and no one but her squad would be able to understand her. And she’s in England anyway.

There are different ways to view the character, of course. Personally, I err on the side of “Catherine of Aragon is the older sister I never had”. Someone who isn’t afraid to use any means to get what she wants. However, other people seem to think she’s a somewhat self-absorbed trickster. But we can’t exactly go back in time and ask Catherine who she really is, now, can we? It all comes down to the writers’ interpretation of what Philippa Gregory wrote.

And last but definitely not least

I can’t forget Catherine of Aragon herself, Charlotte Hope. She’s definitely one of my new favorite people. And her Spanish accent is spot on. Seriously. The first time I heard her speak normally (spoiler alert: she’s English), it was really trippy. Like, “wait, what?”

But the penultimate episode is what finally compelled me to write a blog post about The Spanish Princess. I was mulling it over after having watched it, and so I took to Twitter as is habit these days:

Yeah, I let the cat out of the bag, and that was her response.

It really means a lot to me. Because while I’ve been lucky to have my favorite journalists notice me (which is always fun and probably won’t ever get old), I’ve never had someone … validate me like this.

Honestly, I’ve always struggled with the strength of my imagination, and whether it’s weird or not to use fictional characters/ famous people to fill the various voids left by my lack of siblings. Obviously, I don’t talk about it much. But it turns out The Spanish Princess herself doesn’t think I’m weird to think of Catherine of Aragon as the older sister I never had. And when the queen of England speaks, you listen. If she says something isn’t weird, it’s not weird.

Charlotte probably takes my sentiment as a compliment. It means she’s doing her job, and she’s doing it well. What is entertainment if actors and actresses don’t make the audience feel things or create characters that people can connect to? Nothing. That’s what.

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