‘The Spanish Princess‘ is a historical drama show on the Starz network that chronicles the life of the famous English queen, the first wife of King Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon. Catherine’s father had given his word to marry her into the English royal family when Catherine was only three years old. The show follows her life as she comes into England as the wife of Arthur, Prince of Wales. However, the joy does not last long in her life and within five months of her wedding, Catherine becomes a widow. Being the wise woman she is, she decides that there is still a chance for her to become England’s queen. She argues that there was never a chance for her to consummate her marriage with Arthur, and thus she is technically fit to remarry. Catherine quickly marries King Henry VIII, Arthur’s brother, and becomes the queen of England.
If you enjoy historical drama shows that are stylistically and tonally similar to this incredible series, then you have come to the right place. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘The Spanish Princess’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘The Spanish Princess’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
9. Vikings (2013-)
One of the most impressive historical dramas of this decade, ‘Vikings‘ features great drama and action and has great writing, acting, and production value that make it stand apart from the crowd. The show follows the life of Viking Ragnar Lothbrok, who was a Norse hero and achieved great success in his wars against England and France despite being born a poor farmer’s boy. The show begins when the Viking Age first starts and chronicles the growth of the Vikings across Europe while keeping Lothbrok the center of attention all the time. He eventually goes on to become the king of Scandinavia. After Lothbrok’s death, the story follows the rise of his sons and their various conquests throughout Europe. Critical acclaim came along with every season of ‘Vikings’, with critics praising the grand sets, action, drama, and characters. However, some have also raised objections regarding the historical inaccuracies in the film.
8. The Crown (2014-)
England’s longest-serving monarch in history, Queen Elizabeth II, has seen a lot of ups and downs throughout England and the world during her reign. This Netflix original series chronicles her rule and highlights the most important events that happened since she became queen. The makers revealed that they’ve planned six seasons for the show, with each season consisting a total of 10 episodes of one hour each. Naturally, just one actress in the Queen’s role is not enough to portray her through the ages, and thus, fresh faces are brought in every two seasons. For the first two seasons, Claire Foy plays the part of Elizabeth II, and Olivia Colman plays the part in the third and fourth seasons. The show begins from the time of Elizabeth’s marriage and is likely to trace the major events under her reign to the present times. The show is a critical darling and has won numerous awards. BAFTA, Screen Actors’ Guild, Golden Globe, Emmys — nothing remains beyond the achievements of ‘The Crown’.
7. Reign (2013-2017)
Created by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie SenGupta, ‘Reign’ is a fictionalized account based on the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. The story begins from the time Mary is in a convent and then we see her back in the castle, waiting for the day when she gets to marry Prince Francis. However, her road towards becoming the Queen of France is not easy. Bash, Francis’ half brother, has romantic feelings for her and Francis’ mother Catherine of Medici does not approve of the marriage after Nostradamus says that it will not end well for Francis. However, the marriage does happen and the couple also takes on their responsibilities with Francis as King of France and Mary as Queen of Scotland. They face many difficulties along the way, having to deal with religious, political, and familial issues. The latter part of the show also depicts Queen Elizabeth I’s life. The show did not receive much acclaim because of the several historical inaccuracies in it.
6. Madiba (2017)
Eminent American actor Laurence Fishburne plays the role of equal rights activist and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela in this miniseries. In the three episodes of the series, we see the various struggles and movements of Mandela against the racism and apartheid that was then going on in South Africa. According to Fishburne, he also wanted to capture the various struggles members of Mandela’s family and the African National Congress had to go through during the apartheid. The series was thoroughly praised by critics and boasts of a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
5. The Tudors (2007-2010)
Despite being named ‘The Tudors‘, this series mostly chronicles the life of Henry VIII. When the show starts, we see Henry VIII and his aide Cardinal Wolseley in the midst of the several political conflicts England is going through. The show quickly shifts to Henry’s personal life as we see him marrying Catherin of Aragon. But his marriage remains a failure. He then has a string of extra-marital affairs and even goes against the Church of England when his desire to end the marriage with Katherine spreads. In season 2, we find Henry having the time of his life after he’s married to Anne Boleyn, but she, too, couldn’t give him a male child and gives birth to a daughter who goes on to become Elizabeth I. The series received huge critical acclaim and even won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 2007.
4. The Red Tent (2014)
Adapted from the book of the same name by Anita Diamant, ‘The Red Tent’ is a story set during the Old Testament period of the Bible. The story is told through the point of view of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and Jacob. The Red Tent becomes a very important aspect of the story because it is a place forbidden for men, as women visit this place during their menstruation. Dinah chronicles the entire journey of her family including her father and brothers in the two episodes and we see her finally going away to Egypt. It is very important to have such shows that look at history (epic or real) through the eyes of a woman. As we all are aware, history is written through a male gaze, and hardly have we ever found the female perspective of things in our books. Thus, shows like ‘The Red Tent’ become very pertinent in these times. The show also met with positive response from critics.
3. Tut (2015)
‘Tut’ is a three-episode miniseries that chronicles the life of the famous Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen. Canadian-British actor Avan Jogia plays the leading character in the series. Ben Kingsley dons the role of Tutankhamen’s chief adviser Ay, also known as the Grand Vizier. The life of Tutankhamen is so interesting that it is a wonder why more shows and films are not made on him. He is the youngest ver pharaoh to rule over ancient Egypt and had to do so while steering clear of the many plans people around him hatched to gain the throne for themselves. However, the series met with poor critical acclaim. Many critics complained that it was too melodramatic.
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2. The White Queen (2013)
A 10-part miniseries, ‘The White Queen’ is adapted from the trilogy written by Phillipa Gregory called The Cousins’ War (The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker’s Daughter). The story of the show is set around the famous Wars of the Roses and covers the lives of three women — Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville. What we witness is a power struggle between these three women to gain control of the English empire. The show received mixed to positive reviews from critics and was nominated for numerous awards at the Golden Globes and Primetime Emmys.
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1. The White Princess (2017)
‘The White Princess’ is the follow-up show to ‘The White Queen’. It follows the story of England after the Battle of Roses ends when Henry VII and Elizabeth of York marry each other. However, both of them only do so to stop the war, and in reality, cannot stand the sight of each other. They do not even trust each other and it seems like the marriage can fall apart at any time. The series received critical acclaim just like its predecessor. The story of the English royal women continues in the series ‘The Spanish Princess’, which follows the story of Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII.
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