‘The Spanish Princess’ Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: “Field of The Cloth of Gold”

The Spanish Princess Season 2 Episode 6
Ruairi O’Connor and Charlotte Hope in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 episode 6 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Queen Catherine (Charlotte Hope) looks on in anguish while King Henry (Ruairi O’Connor) and Bessie Blount spend time with their son as Starz’s The Spanish Princess season two episode six begins. Time passes, snow falls, and young Henry is the apple of his father’s eye as they play at sword fighting.

Maggie Pole (Laura Carmichael) informs Catherine that Cardinal Wolsey has been telling Catherine’s daughter, Princess Mary, she’s to marry. The news angers Catherine who charges off to confront Henry. Henry explains their daughter needs to wed the Dauphin of France to strengthen that alliance since his sister Mary wed Charlie Brandon without his permission. Wolsey isn’t the only person campaigning for a marriage, and Henry confesses he still wants Mary’s head on a spike but realizes that’s not feasible.

Henry wonders why Catherine’s taking an interest in their daughter’s future now, given the fact she doesn’t seem to have ever cared about the child’s welfare in the past. Catherine claims it’s her right – not Wolsey’s – to secure a marriage for her daughter.

Catherine pens a note to her nephew Charles who’s the current King of Spain. She wishes to see him in person. She informs him that her daughter is set to marry the French Dauphin but believes it’s possible Charles would make a better match.

Catherine instructs Lina (Stephanie Levi-John), who’s far along in another pregnancy, to stay behind with Oviedo when they sail to France. It’s better for her unborn child if Lina stays safe in London.

Maggie’s out with Princess Mary when she encounters Thomas More (Andrew Buchan). He explains there’s been trouble among the merchants due to the increasing presence of foreign tradesmen, and the number of soldiers on the streets has been increased in response. Thomas doesn’t believe there will be any further problems and that the situation is under control.

Maggie catches up with Catherine and reminds her Princess Mary doesn’t know what will happen to her. Catherine assures Maggie that Princess Mary’s future is not yet set in stone. Wolsey won’t be allowed to make that pivotal decision for her child.

A short while later Wolsey (Philip Cumbus) is in a sour mood as he stands next to Queen Catherine, and Henry points out he has no reason to be upset. Wolsey should be happy he’s just been named Chancellor, although Henry admits he did it just to stop his whining.

In Scotland, Meg (Georgie Henley) joins her children to say goodbye to the Duke of Albany who’s off to see King Henry and King Francis I of France. The relationship between the Duke and Meg is friendly, and Meg appears to have happily settled into her life again in Scotland.

The only irritant is the reappearance of Meg’s husband, Angus (Andrew Rothney). The Duke’s departure apparently made Angus assume he could safely return home, but Meg will have none of it. She threatens to kill him if he attempts to occupy her bed ever again. Angus refuses to leave, claiming he is legally her husband.

Meg reaches out to King Henry for help.

King Henry, Queen Catherine, and members of the court attend a royal summit in Calais, France. (The meeting became known as Field of The Cloth of Gold.) They’re reunited with Mary (Sai Bennett) and Charlie Brandon (Jordan Renzo), and Catherine embraces Mary in a warm hug. Henry refuses to soften toward either his sister or his former friend, reminding both they should have been hung for treason.

After Henry walks away, Catherine assures Mary that Henry will eventually come around. Mary’s correct in her assumption that young Princess Mary is now a sacrificial lamb, forced into a marriage to assure England’s alliance with France. Catherine’s not ready to admit defeat and continues to fight against that arrangement.

Charles V of Spain arrives and is happy to be back in Catherine’s presence. Henry expresses surprise at Charles’ arrival, but Charles reminds him this is a meeting of the great kings of Europe. He belongs there. Catherine continues her pursuit of a marriage between Princess Mary and Charles, with Charles gifting Henry a gorgeous horse named Warrior to worm his way into Henry’s good graces.

Catherine advises her husband the horse can kill a man with a single kick.

While King Henry’s away, a rebellion is stirring on the streets of London. His people are hungry and unhappy about the influx of foreign merchants.

Lina’s upset after observing the unrest and Oviedo (Aaron Cobham) attempts to settle her frayed nerves. He pledges to keep her safe.

In France, King Henry and King Francis (Paul Forman) meet for the first time. Catherine notes that King Francis has not brought his son to the summit, suggesting perhaps the boy is weak or ill in which case he wouldn’t make a good husband for Princess Mary. She reminds Henry that King Charles of Spain is 20 and in terrific health.

Princess Mary is introduced to those assembled in the royal tent, and King Francis asks about her health. He believes she looks a little frail, but Wolsey quickly assures him she’s sturdy. Catherine asks about King Francis’ son and the King of France replies, “My son could eat your stallion in a single meal. There is no doubt about his strength.”

King Francis presents his demand for a dowery which King Henry considers extravagant. It’s double what King Francis’ father asked for when he wed Mary. King Francis reveals he’s not convinced Queen Catherine and King Henry’s daughter is actually a princess, given that Catherine was previously married to Henry’s brother. He’s unsure Catherine and Henry’s marriage is lawful.

King Henry asks King Francis to step outside, enraged he’d insult the Queen of England.

The kings remove their royal attire and fight in their shirt sleeves. It’s more of a wrestling match than a modern-day fight, and King Henry initially gets the upper hand. King Francis is able to turn the table and pin Henry to the ground, forcing him to yield.

As Henry walks away angry, Catherine reminds him Princess Mary has the purest bloodline of all of Europe.

Back in London, Lina’s front door’s defaced and she feels threatened. Oviedo explains there are curfews in place and he will be patrolling at night. Lina’s concerned she’ll be alone while he’s out.

In France, Queen Catherine reunites with her friend and former lady, Rosa (Nadia Parkes). Rosa’s there because she and her husband – a navigator – are with the Spanish court. Catherine confesses she hasn’t been reading Rosa’s letters because they’re too painful.

Rosa points out her three daughters and asks to meet Catherine’s daughter, Mary. Catherine explains she’s with Maggie Pole and Lina’s also not available as she remained at home.

Catherine walks away but looks back in happiness mixed with envy as Rosa hugs her daughters and then lovingly greets her husband.

Everywhere she looks Catherine spots couples in love, including Mary and Charlie Brandon.

That evening she takes care of Henry’s bruises and continues to plead her case. She doesn’t believe Mary should wed the Dauphin of France and that King Charles would make a better match. Henry remains unconvinced, despite his own dislike of King Francis.

Catherine and Henry also continue to disagree over whether God is punishing them by not delivering a son. Catherine thinks the love they share’s enough while Henry remains convinced he needs to have a male heir to prove he’s been chosen by God to lead.

Meg’s letter arrives and in it she claims to have lost her mind. Meg did her research and her letter proclaims she wasn’t sane when she married Angus and therefore her marriage should be annulled. She beseeches Henry to write to the Pope on her behalf.

During a gathering at the summit, Catherine tells the Duke of Albany to inform Meg there’s nothing Henry can do and she just has to make the best of her marriage to Angus. Mary disagrees, arguing if someone’s unhappy in a marriage they should change their circumstances. Mary reminds her that after taking her destiny into her own hands, she’s blissfully happy.

Charlie attempts to stop the disagreement, but neither Catherine nor Mary will back down. Mary says Meg’s turned to law books and knows her rights. However, Catherine points out they can’t take a stand against the Douglases because they’re useful to King Henry.

Meanwhile, Oviedo rushes home to grab Lina and the boys. The rioting has begun and it’s no longer safe outside the palace. Soldiers assist Lina and Oviedo, but the palace is too far away. Lina suggests they go to Bessie’s house instead. Her home will have guards due to her son.

They make it there only to learn Bessie’s blaming everything on the “incomers.” They’re the troublemakers, despite the fact they’re the victims of the violence. The proper order will soon be restored.

Uncomfortable but with nowhere else to turn, Lina remains at Bessie’s while Oviedo rejoins the soldiers.

The Spanish Princess Season 2 Episode 6
Nadia Parkes and Charlotte Hope in ‘The Spanish Princess’ season 2 episode 6 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Catherine opens up to Rosa during the gathering, revealing Henry had a son with Bessie. Her own efforts have been in vain. Rosa hopes Henry’s still kind to Catherine, and she admits he’s changed. She blames herself but Rosa believes Catherine’s hurting her own heart without cause.

“You have given the King a strong, intelligent daughter,” says Rosa. “Catherine, your mother is Queen Isabella of Castile. Your daughter is from a line of warrior queens. Forget about some milksop English boy. Mary is your heir – your legacy. She will be the one to rule and follow you in greatness, but she needs her mother’s love to do that.” (Rosa says exactly what Catherine needs to hear.)

King Charles calls out Wolsey, naming him as the man being secretly referred to as the “Second King.” King Henry listens to this announcement, considers it, but doesn’t respond.

A short while later, Charlie and Henry engage in their first real conversation away from the crowd. Charlie’s sorry to hear about the rioting and Henry laughs as he recalls how they used to be able to handle their drink and still function. He pardons Charlie and says he can return to England with Mary if he wishes. Charlie becomes emotional and gives Henry a hug.

The rioting forces King Henry and the others to return home sooner than planned.

As they’re preparing to leave France, Maggie asks Catherine what’s been decided about Mary. Catherine says it’s come down to who Henry trusts more – her or Wolsey. Henry’s still weighing the merits of the Dauphin of France and King Charles.

Rosa says her goodbyes to Catherine, advising her to hold onto her daughter and her God. That’s what matters. Rosa returns the compass Catherine gave her when she left England, a compass given to Catherine by Christopher Columbus. She believes Catherine needs that compass now more than she does.

During their voyage home, Catherine attempts to connect with her daughter. Mary, understandably, isn’t open to her mother’s overtures. When Mary walks away, Maggie warns Catherine it will just take some time. Catherine promises she will be worthy of her daughter’s love.

Catherine informs Henry she wants to educate their daughter in philosophy and languages, as a boy would be. She’ll personally oversee her daughter’s education because one day she will be a queen. Henry agrees that once her betrothal’s been decided Catherine can do as she pleases with Mary’s education.

In London, the rioting escalates. Oviedo diffuses a tense situation, ridding a man of his weapon. Henry Pole marches up and kills the rioter, unaware he’s unarmed and was going to retreat.

Lina and Bessie watch the events unfold and have differing points of view. Lina’s saddened an unarmed man was struck down while Bessie believes he got what was coming to him.

Oviedo blames King Henry and his taxes for all this suffering. Lina warns him never to say that again – not even to her.

King Henry, Queen Catherine, and Princess Mary’s return to London is met with protests. They’re forced to ride through the streets amid the rioting. Princess Mary goes missing and Catherine frantically searches the streets, calling out her name. When she’s found Queen Catherine wraps her in a huge hug.

Catherine finally reunites with Lina and explains she thought she was being punished by God when she briefly lost Mary.

King Henry’s livid to discover Meg’s written another letter, one he believes is meant to shame him. She’s now claiming King James didn’t die at Flodden and therefore her marriage to the Earl of Angus is unlawful. She begs, again, for Henry to appeal to the Pope on her behalf.

Catherine prays in the chapel and then writes back to Meg. She pleads with her to stop trying to revoke her marriage. She asks Meg to be a good wife to Angus and make her peace.

Later, Queen Catherine speaks with Princess Mary. Catherine calls her daughter brave and asks if they can walk in the gardens tomorrow. Mary responds by revealing her father’s going to be cutting people’s heads off.

Catherine enters as King Henry’s being read a list of the ringleaders who need to be punished. Thomas More and Wolsey are involved in the conversation, and it’s More who reads the list of charges. Wolsey says the rebels must pay but Catherine feels Henry needs to show them mercy. She believes they only rioted because they’re hungry and hurting. She pleads for Henry to spare the children who witnessed the bloodshed from seeing any further violence.

Henry proclaims those guilty will hang.

Oviedo speaks with Catherine as those found guilty are walked to the scaffolding. He believes they’re innocent and don’t deserve to die, and Catherine promises to try again to convince Henry to call off the hangings.

Dozens of men are led onto the scaffolding while a crowd gathers in the stands. Catherine asks Henry to please reconsider but he refuses.

Thomas More asks if the men have any final words and some plead for mercy. Henry refuses and calls for them to die. However, he will not stick around to watch them hang.

Catherine, Wolsey, and Edward Stafford join Henry as the executions are taking place. Henry reveals Princess Mary will wed the King of Spain, not France. Catherine won that battle and she thanks him for Mary’s sake.

Henry turns on Wolsey, angered anyone would ever give him the title of “Second King.” He demands Wolsey refer to him as Your Majesty out of respect, rather than Your Grace. Catherine tries again to have the men spared, revealing she’s with child and would like them spared for their unborn son’s sake.

Henry believes this pregnancy is their one final chance. He grants the men mercy.

The lever is just about to be pulled when Catherine instructs the hangman to stop. She informs the crowd King Henry has pardoned the men and they respond by crying out, “God save the King!”

Meg informs the Duke of Albany that Angus has stolen everything she owns. She requests the Duke use his connections to her obtain an annulment from the Pope since her brother refuses to help. Meg warns she’ll find a way to rid herself of Angus and no one – not King Henry or Queen Catherine – will stand in her way.