‘The Spanish Princess’ Season 1 Episode 8 Recap: “Destiny”

The Spanish Princess Season 1 Episode 8
Ruairi O’Connor and Charlotte Hope in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 1 episode 8 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Season one of Starz’s The Spanish Princess comes to an end with episode eight, “Destiny.” Airing June 23, 2019, “Destiny” begins with Lady Margaret (Harriet Walter) informing King Henry VII (Elliot Cowan) the traitors have been rounded up. Maggie Pole and her children were among the last to be taken into custody. King Henry VII explains he’s sending men to Kent because the French are restless. The move’s designed to make King Louis aware the English are watching his every move and are ready for war.

During their discussion, King Henry’s obviously feeling ill but claims it will pass.

Lina (Stephanie Levi-John) confronts Oviedo (Aaron Cobham) about his work for Lady Margaret and the King. He believes he’s simply doing his job, remindings her she would not have him and that’s why he joined this army. Princess Catherine (Charlotte Hope) interrupts their argument to ask whether Lady Maggie Pole’s been taken to the Tower. Catherine, upset, is determined to offer Maggie aid.

While King VII attempts to relieve his aches in the bath, Lady Margaret intrudes upon his private time. She believes they should celebrate the purging of the traitors. She also informs the King she’s found him a new wife. The King tells Lady Margaret that Prince Harry must marry Eleanor because Queen Elizabeth had a vision Harry would never have a son if he married Catherine. That’s why the King forbade Harry from marrying Prince Catherine.

Lady Margaret’s determined to discuss the wife she’s selected, informing Henry it will help with a new alliance.

Suddenly, King Henry’s condition takes a turn for the worse. He’s placed a white cloth over his face and as he coughs, it becomes soaked with blood. Blood drips into the bathwater as he continues to cough, and finally he slumps to the side.

Lady Margaret initially believes her son’s simply ignoring her and is shocked to discover he’s died. She demands the assistance of an unwilling co-conspirator to help her move him to his bed. Lady Margaret wants to keep his death a secret from everyone for now.

A bucket filled with bloody water and the white cloth that had covered King Henry’s face is handed to Oviedo for disposal. He witnesses Lady Margaret rushing to hand someone a note to be given to Prince Harry demanding his return and realizes the King is deceased. Determined to make things right with Lina, he springs into action.

Princess Catherine has Maggie and her children moved to a larger cell and promises she won’t be kept locked up long. Maggie realizes the cell formerly housed Teddy for 12 years. Princess Catherine swears she’ll find a way to set Maggie free, but Maggie is aware it’s Lady Margaret who’s the puppet master.

Princess Catherine says, “Hold fast. I promise I will not fail you.”

Oviedo tells Princess Catherine and Lina he believes the King is dead. He adds that the guards have been instructed to throw Catherine out of the palace even as Prince Harry is making his way back. Catherine decides the best option is to attempt to intercept Harry during his return trip to the palace. There’s only one road so they’re bound to meet before he makes it home.

Oviedo warns her of robbers and starving people on the road and insists he’s coming with her.

Lady Margaret’s busy gathering scrolls in King Henry’s room when Sir Edmund Dudley (Morgan Jones) knocks on the King’s bedroom door. He’s accompanied by a member of the privy council, Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire (Richard Pepper), who asks if the King is unwell. Lady Margaret’s forced to allow them into the room where the King lies dead on his bed.

Lady Margaret explains the ledgers and scrolls contain information on the land and assets seized from the citizens when they were unable to pay their taxes. Wiltshire is stunned. Parliament voted against land forfeitures, so this action was done without the council’s knowledge and approval.

Sir Dudley defends their actions, saying the landowners can eventually buy back their lands. Wiltshire claims these actions are illegal and calls it thievery. He admits the privy council knew they were short of funds but they weren’t aware of this secret activity.

Lady Margaret is unapologetic and wants the ledgers destroyed. Her primary concern now is that Prince Harry returns to the palace before the citizens are aware King Henry is dead. She fears a rebellion and Harry’s capture.

Sir Dudley volunteers to take the papers to his home for safekeeping.

After they’ve left the room, Lady Margaret joins King Henry in bed. She strokes his face and closes her eyes, head resting on the pillow next to her son’s.

Princess Catherine, Lina, and Oviedo wait for Prince Harry on the road. While they wait, Lina apologizes for how she’s treated Oviedo. He kisses her and asks that when he returns from war she pledge herself to him and their new family ahead of Princess Catherine.

The privy council meets and Lady Margaret confirms King Henry is dead. She interrupts Wiltshire when he tries to discuss the collection of illegal taxes. “The good people of England have been overburdened by taxation. They have been sorely used by the nobility and the Crown,” says Lady Margaret. Edward Stafford (Olly Rix) is confused, believing they needed to find a way to collect more gold for the treasury.

Lady Margaret explains Prince Harry – the new King – may not understand the steps taken by the council to fill the treasury. She believes he’ll blame them for forcing people to give up their lands. The council members begin pointing blame at each other, with Stafford and Wiltshire engaging in a heated argument.

“I agree that the treasury needed aid. But Parliament refused to pass an act where lands and property could be confiscated. Yet only yesterday I learned that Dudley and My Lady – and perhaps the King himself – defied Parliament and seized men’s home and chattels anyway. There were ledgers in the King’s room detailing hundreds of seized properties,” says Wiltshire.

Lady Margaret seizes on an answer to her problem. She blames Sir Dudley, falsely claiming he engineered the plan alone. They must convict him now because that will clear them of any part in the illegal property seizures.

Prince Harry and his men arrive at the spot where Princess Catherine’s waiting. He’s surprised when she bows and says, “God save the King.” Catherine informs him of his father’s death, and both groups sink to their knees, bowing before the new King of England.

Meanwhile, Maggie and her children watch as Sir Dudley is taken in chains past their cell. She realizes King Henry is dead but is unsure what that means for her future.

Prince Harry walks away from the group and Princess Catherine follows. He admits he always believed he’d be King of England, even as the second son. Princess Catherine reveals she’s been told he’s marrying her niece and he explains he’s been praying upon his duty. His heart is now at peace and Catherine wants to know if she’s still in his thoughts.

Catherine tells Harry she loves him but that if she can’t love him as his wife, she’ll love him as his subject. She admits she wants to be the mother of his heirs and demands to know her fate. Prince Harry responds by reminding her he’s no longer “Harry.” He’s now King Henry VIII and they will not fear the morrow. “We make it as man…King…and wife,” he says, holding her face in his hands and delivering a passionate kiss.

Henry reveals he withdrew from the marriage commitment to Eleanor two days ago. He promises after they receive the letter from the Pope, they will wed.

Sir Dudley’s taken from his cell to be executed. He begs for his life as Lady Margaret says he’s been found guilty of constructive treason. As she reads off the charges, Dudley realizes Lady Margaret has set him up to take all the blame for illegal taxation.

“I did your bidding!” screams Sir Dudley. “No! I am an innocent man. I took my instruction from you! I did it all for England. You can not treat me like some dog to be put down. It is unchristian.”

Stafford explains the council examined his crimes and passed the sentence of death. Dudley continues to beg for his life while proclaiming his innocence. Multiple swings of the axe are needed to separate Sir Dudley’s head from his body.
Lady Margaret declares they’ll let it be known the traitor responsible for the “people’s yoke of taxation” has been executed.

The new King of England returns to the castle with Princess Catherine. He orders the banners lowered in memory of his father. He also informs everyone gathered to welcome his return that Princess Catherine will be their Queen.

As King Henry and Princess Catherine walk, she asks for Maggie and her children’s release from the Tower. She claims they’re loyal to him, but King Henry believes his father arrested them for a reason.

King Henry and Princess Catherine join the privy council as they sit in vigil before King Henry VII. Henry kisses his father’s forehead and then is approached by Wiltshire and another member of the council. They inform him what happened before he arrived and provide details on the quick execution of Sir Dudley.

Stafford runs to fetch Lady Margaret, informing her the King has arrived safely.

Lady Margaret joins her grandson and the small group gathered in mourning, asking to speak to King Henry VIII in private. He denies her that opportunity as she glances at Princess Catherine. Lady Margaret informs her grandson Princess Eleanor has been summoned. King Henry replies, “Good. She can attend my wedding to Princess Catherine.”

Lady Margaret reminds him he’s pledged to Eleanor. King Henry is having none of this. He demands to know why she arrested, tried, and executed Sir Dudley in one day. He corrects himself, saying Dudley did not have a trial.

Lady Margaret lies, placing the responsibility of the arrest and execution on King Henry VII. Henry can only shake his head in disgust. He knows his father was dead at the time Sir Dudley was taken into custody. He wonders why she was so hasty, and Princess Catherine tries to calm the situation by telling him it’s time to be with his father.

King Henry appears to take Princess Catherine’s advice; however, he turns back to his grandmother and asks what crime Maggie Pole committed. Lady Margaret calls her a traitor to the Crown, and now it’s Princess Catherine’s turn to confront Lady Margaret. She runs down the list of ways Lady Margaret made Maggie suffer, adding, “If you would have had your way, you would have crushed me too.”

Princess Catherine assures the King that Maggie would not harm him. Catherine asks again for Maggie to be freed, saying it can be his wedding gift to her. Lady Margaret reminds them they cannot marry without the Pope’s approval and he hasn’t given it.

King Henry grants Lady Margaret Pole an immediate pardon. Princess Catherine volunteers to take it to Maggie.

As Lady Margaret’s leaving, she and Stafford have a whispered conversation. He reveals Princess Catherine found Harry so quickly because she was aided by Oviedo.

Princess Catherine hands Maggie the pardon, overjoyed she’ll be able to return to court with her children. “You will be looked after,” says Catherine as Maggie, smiling broadly, reads the official pardon.

The Spanish Princess  Season 1 Episode 8
Harriet Walter and Aaron Cobham in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 1 episode 8 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Lady Margaret hasn’t given up. She claims Oviedo stole her prayer book and has him arrested. (She gave him the book to read.) She commands the guards to remove Oviedo from the castle and hang him. Oviedo screams that he’s no thief as Lady Margaret strides way.

Lina catches up and confronts Lady Margaret, reminding her Oviedo has been loyal. She wonders if Lady Margaret forgot she gave Oviedo the book. Lady Margaret forces Lina to admit Princess Catherine and Prince Arthur consummated their marriage. Lina believes she’s confirming Lady Margaret’s suspicions in exchange for Oviedo’s release. She isn’t. Lady Margaret will still see Oviedo hung and Lina ejected from the palace.

Lina runs to the yard where Oviedo is being held. She asks if she can please be his wife now, even though he has very little time left. She confesses he’s everything to her.

Princess Margaret is bathing when she asks about her lady, Lina. Told Lina hasn’t returned, Princess Catherine goes in search of her friend.

Maggie attempts to fetch Reggie from the monastery but he refuses to speak to her as she assures him she loves him. He remains, speechless, in bed. When he doesn’t respond, she tells him she’ll return the following day.

Lina and Oviedo are married in a joint Catholic and Muslim ceremony.

Lady Margaret walks with a purpose into the privy council meeting. Princess Catherine’s also in attendance as they discuss the illegal taxation. King Henry suggests he should hang the entire council and Lady Margaret agrees. She takes it a step further and suggests Princess Catherine – the harlot – should be cast out of the palace.

King Henry demands the council leave as Lady Margaret reveals Lina told her Princess Catherine consummated her marriage with Prince Arthur. Lady Margaret says it’s against God’s law for Princess Catherine to be Queen as Catherine continues to deny she slept with Arthur. King Henry demands Lina be fetched and that she’s made to swear her statement on the cross in his presence.

Lady Margaret doesn’t immediately act and King Henry pounds the table, yelling, “Bring her to me!”

Princess Catherine realizes something’s wrong and asks what Lady Margaret did to Lina. King Henry follows her from the chamber as Lady Margaret stays behind, understanding she’s been found out.

Lina and Oviedo kiss and then he’s taken into the barn. The soldiers place the noose around his neck, assuring him they’ll make this as quick as possible. Lina begs them to reconsider as Oviedo says, ‘Goodbye, love of my life. I will see you in heaven.”

Lina continues to cry and beg as Oviedo is hung. He struggles at the rope around his neck and is on the verge of passing out as Princess Catherine and King Henry arrive, demanding he be let down. King Henry commands his men to say who ordered the hanging.

King Henry and Princess Catherine confront Lady Margaret, and Margaret continues to call Oviedo a thief. Lady Margaret insists it doesn’t matter; Lina confessed the truth. King Henry knows Lina only did so because his grandmother threatened to kill the love of her life.

Lina cares for Oviedo in the barn and he tells her she should be helping with Princess Catherine’s wedding. Lina explains the wedding can not take place because the Pope hasn’t approved it. Oviedo reveals he read the letter from the Pope giving his permission weeks ago. Lady Margaret has the letter.

King Henry and Princess Catherine inform Lady Margaret the Pope confirmed he sent a letter. They will have a private wedding and Lady Margaret is not invited.

Lady Margaret is plagued with visions of the young boys she had murdered. The ghosts of two dead boys stand by the side of her bed, shirts bloody.

Maggie Pole is on her way to the wedding when she hears Lady Margaret crying out. “My children are all here with me for the wedding, but Reggie chooses not to speak. That is the final gift you’ve given me,” says Maggie.

Lady Margaret claims everything she built will be undone with the marriage of King Henry to Princess Catherine. “What have you built though? Hatred and fear. You are forsaken,” says Maggie.

Before the ceremony Princess Catherine receives letters from Spain. Her father says Harry did not refuse the match to Eleanor as Harry claimed. Catherine’s father withdrew Eleanor’s hand after learning Harry slept with Catherine’s sister, Queen Joanne.

Princess Catherine finds King Henry in the chapel, deep in prayer. She asks him directly if he slept with her sister and he adamantly denies it. “Why would I have? I walked through fire for you. I stood against my father, risked my throne. Said that we should be crowned together. How could you believe this of me?” asks King Henry.

He warns her if she believes this, everything they fought for will be for nothing.

Princess Catherine chooses to believe him and apologizes, blaming her sister for trying to hurt them. King Henry kisses her hands and then asks if she ever slept with his brother, Prince Arthur. She smiles and claims she didn’t. “I am a maid,” says Princess Catherine.

They smile at each other, but the smiles do not touch their eyes. The final scene of the season shows Princess Catherine running from the chapel and emerging outside. Her inner turmoil is evident on her face.