Episode two of Starz’s gorgeous period drama The Spanish Princess begins with the newly married Prince Arthur (Angus Imrie) and Princess Catherine (Charlotte Hope) exiting the church to the roar of the crowd. Once at home, Prince Arthur wonders if being the Princess of Wales scares Catherine, and she assures her new husband she’s it doesn’t. She’s happy the marriage has brought peace.
Catherine welcomes Arthur to their wedding bed, but he seems lost and unsure of what’s expected. They kiss and Arthur moves quickly on top of her, while Catherine urges he remain calm. When she slowly moves her hand up his leg, she discovers he’s flaccid.
Arthur turns his back on his wife.
On her wedding night, Catherine dreams of Prince Henry.
The next morning Arthur tells his wife she speaks in Spanish in her sleep. He also informs her there’s a banquet planned that the day and they’ll be required to dance.
Princess Catherine’s ladies-in-waiting, Rosa (Nadia Parkes) and Lina (Stephanie Levi-John), discuss the eligible men in court. Lina knows they all have lands and then pointedly reminds Rosa not all of them already have wives.
Prince Henry (Ruairi O’Connor) picks on his older his brother, calling him a celibate monk. Henry thinks Catherine’s too much of a woman for him, but Arthur fights back. He tells Henry and his two cohorts, “Gentleman, last night I was in Spain.”
Catherine breaks up the brothers’ conversation, getting her own dig in at Henry by hinting she burned his letters last night.
Lina attends to the bed and discovers Catherine did not have sex with Arthur. She’s sent out to fetch rosemary but stopped in her task by a man who introduces himself as a potential suitor. Lina’s shocked to learn it will be Lady Margaret and not Princess Catherine selecting her husband.
Lina insults the man, saying she’ll choose her own husband, adding he’ll be a man, not a boy.
Lady Margaret (Harriet Walter) gives Maggie Pole (Laura Carmichael) instructions for minding Arthur. She inquires as to why Maggie avoids Princess Catherine, and Maggie doesn’t provide an answer. Lady Margaret demands to be kept up on any news of a potential pregnancy. If Princess Catherine’s pregnant, Spain will be forced to send the remaining balance of Catherine’s dowry.
Queen Elizabeth (Alexandra Moen) and King Henry VII (Elliot Cowan) address members of the court, congratulating Princess Catherine and Prince Arthur – the future of the kingdom. “England and Spain united in you,” says King Henry.
The banquet begins and Princess Catherine is seated next to King Henry. Princess Margaret (“Meg”) teases her brother Henry when she finds him fixated on Princess Catherine. “Poor thing, climbing under the sheets with my cadaverous brother,” says Henry.
Prince Arthur takes Princess Catherine’s hand to lead her in a dance. Queen Elizabeth corners Maggie Pole to ask again about plots against the King, and Maggie denies having any knowledge. She breaks away from the Queen to help poor Catherine who doesn’t know the English dances.
Princess Catherine tries to follow the dance steps but shortly gives up to follow Maggie from the hall. She sinks to her knees and begs forgiveness for what was done in her name. “I throw myself upon your mercy. I did not know,” pleads Catherine.
Maggie’s obviously struggling with her emotions as Princess Catherine confesses she’s only now aware Maggie’s brother, who was an innocent, was put to death because of his possible claim to the throne. Princess Catherine, again, delivers a heartfelt apology before returning to the banquet.
Prince Arthur and Prince Henry taunt each other on the dance floor before Henry lifts Princess Catherine in the air. Arthur demands his brother leave Catherine alone.
At just that moment Moors arrive and Princess Catherine is clearly displeased. They’ve come to strike a marriage arrangement for Princess Margaret to wed King James IV so there may be peace between England and Scotland.
That evening, Prince Arthur asks his bride if she enjoyed the day. He’s jealous of his brother and of the letters his wife and Henry exchanged prior to her arrival. For her part, Princess Catherine feels responsible for the murder of Edward Plantagenet. Princess Arthur blames her mother for Edward’s death; Princess Catherine is equally convinced the death was commanded by Queen Elizabeth.
The Royal newlyweds have not consummated their marriage, and Princess Catherine is frustrated by Prince Arthur’s lack of desire. She notes the cold and damp shrink all desire and joy, and he’s preventing her from performing her duties.
Morning arrives and Prince Henry’s jealous of his brother, who it’s assumed will become the King of England, and of his sister who’s set to become the Queen of Scotland. Lady Margaret assures him he has the heart of a lion, the soul of a poet, and that God has plans for him.
Princess Catherine and Prince Arthur prepare for their trip to the first municipality the Royal couple will rule. It’s basically a training exercise for when they become King and Queen of England. Richard Pole and Margaret Pole will be attending to them. It’s clear from Edward Stafford’s short description of what’s in store that Princess Catherine’s lady-in-waiting Rosa has divulged secrets about Prince Arthur and Princess Catherine’s wedding bed to her lover.
Princess Catherine, Prince Arthur, and their party arrive at Ludlow Castle in Shropshire on the Welsh border. Catherine’s unhappy no one warned her about the dull English light.
Prince Arthur has a heart-to-heart with Margaret Pole (“Aunt Maggie”), worried because Catherine never saw a portrait of him prior to their marriage. They talk about missing Edward and the games they’d play if he were there with them. They hug and console each other before Arthur confesses his mother asked him to spy on her. “We out here have a chance to be happy,” replies Aunt Maggie.
Prince Arthur returns to his rooms to find the room lit by dozens of candles. Princess Catherine wishes to calm his fears and tells him her story so that he’ll be less afraid of their union. She explains her family made all of Spain Catholic but there’s another side to her family. They eat at low tables, live in rooms studded with jewels, and she respects the beauty of Islam although she’s a Catholic.
Prince Arthur asks to know more about her home. She describes the first room as small, which shocks Arthur since he’s heard it was a lavish palace. She explains you go through the small room and then encounter the massive Golden Chamber. Prince Arthur admits he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t betrothed to her. Catherine believes they’re masters of their own destinies now and they have time to learn about each other.
They kiss and Arthur helps Catherine to her feet. He helps her undress and does not shy away from her body this time. The marriage is finally consummated.
Maggie Pole hears the murmurs of sex from outside the door and smiles before walking away.
After, they relax in bed and Catherine looks genuinely happy as Arthur reads aloud the adventures of King Arthur and Camelot. He promises to make his reign echo King Arthur’s and assures her he’ll be a fair and just ruler.
Lady Margaret receives a note confirming Prince Arthur and Princess Catherine have consummated their marriage.
Princess Margaret complains to her grandmother about the behavior of the men representing Scotland’s King James. They’re drunkards and they leer at the married women in court. They’ve given her the nickname Little Fishy and treat the Royal family and the palace with great disrespect.
Lady Margaret is not a sympathetic ear, although one point did hit its mark. Princess Margaret thinks it’s possible King James will be dead in a year, and will his successor want peace or choose war? England’s paying good money for this marriage arrangement, yet there’s no guarantee whoever succeeds King James to the throne will honor the agreement with England.
King Henry VII will not be able to pay Princess Margaret’s dowry if Spain doesn’t pay the remaining dowry owed for Princess Catherine. Lady Margaret believes they should hold onto Princess Margaret until they receive Spain’s money. It’s unlikely Scotland will attack now that England and Spain have signed a treaty. King Henry’s sure Spain will pay, but his adviser agrees with Lady Margaret.
“The Scottish peace will hold without an expensive wedding,” says Lady Margaret. “It has to.”
Time away from court and the Royal family has given Prince Arthur and Princess Catherine room to truly get acquainted. They share a romantic kiss while on a walk through the garden, and Arthur stops to retrieve a note nestled among the flowers. It’s a poem and Princess Catherine calls it “very fine,” not quite the reaction Prince Arthur was hoping for.
Lina and Rose walk by as Prince Arthur and Princess Catherine are huddled together, and they note how the couple are spending a lot of time playing games and just being alone together. They discuss potential husbands and what’s expected of them, but Rosa is set on continuing her affair with Edward Stafford.
Lina becomes ill while they’re talking and races away. Oviedo (Aaron Cobham) finds her passed out and takes her to the barn. He stripes off her confining dress as Rosa watches, concerned. Oviedo places wet rags on her shoulders and forehead, asking her to think of home and relax.
Lina admits she’s frightened and Oviedo tells her his story to calm her down. He remains by her side as she fights off the illness.
Prince Arthur and Princess Catherine join the others in the garden. The children play as the adults relax.
The next morning Princess Catherine wakes up alone in bed. Prince Arthur’s side of the bed is wet and she calls out for her ladies. No one responds.
Princess Catherine tracks down Prince Arthur in another wing of the castle. He’s gravely ill and Catherine’s kept away from him as the doctor tends to his illness. Princess Catherine wants to stay with her husband, but Maggie pulls her away. “It is ‘the sweat.’ Thousands died when the Tudor army brought it to England,” explains Maggie.
As the outbreak takes hold, Maggie sends her children away to keep them safe.
King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth receive a message from Ludlow and immediately set out to be with Prince Arthur.
Prince Arthur’s bed-ridden and Princess Catherine will not be dissuaded from being at his side. She’s determined to care for him and sends everyone out of his room.
Arthur warns her to stay away but Catherine remains. She asks what he wants and Arthur, sweating and in great pain, replies, “I want to live.”
Princess Catherine assures him his father is on the way. He apologizes because he believes Catherine will be sent back to Spain. “I dreamed of Camelot and Teddy was a Knight of the Round Table,” says Arthur. “You had a place set for me.”
Catherine cries as she holds tight to his trembling hand.
Prince Arthur’s siblings and grandmother receive word Arthur has died. Lady Margaret and Prince Henry exchange a glance, conveying much without speaking.
Lina survives the sweat.
King Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth arrive too late to say goodbye to their oldest son. Elizabeth falls to her knees and screams out, “No!”
Prince Arthur’s body is prayed over and prepared for burial. His heart’s removed for separate burial.
King Henry VII wants assurance Arthur found happiness with Catherine. When Catherine says he did, he orders her to return to Westminster where they’ll wait to learn if she’s with child. He adds, “Pray God you are,” before leaving the burial of Arthur’s heart.
Maggie and Queen Elizabeth remain behind and Maggie reminds her of the Tudor curse. “I told you this would happen, Lizzie. When you let Teddy and your own brother die on that scaffold, I told you the Tudor curse would rip you and your children,” says Maggie through tears.
Maggie warns, “Perhaps you and the King have enemies after all, Your Grace.”
Lady Margaret speaks with her granddaughter Princess Margaret and explains circumstances have changed. England will need Scotland more than ever following the death of Prince Arthur.
Prince Arthur’s body is moved onto the carriage for the trip back to Westminster. Maggie asks Queen Elizabeth what will happen to Princess Catherine and Queen Elizabeth reveals she does not care what happens to the Spanish princess.