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The author Philippa Gregory in 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)

Just as we get ready to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s nuptials, Starz has announced it’s making a drama about one of history’s most notorious royal marriages.

Deadline reports the cabler has ordered eight episodes of The Spanish Princess, a historical drama based on novels by Philippa Gregory. It tells the story of Catherine of Aragon, the Spanish princess in question, who first married the future King of England Prince Arthur, but then went on to marry his younger brother Prince Harry (ahem) when her first husband died shortly after their wedding.

That Prince Harry is better known to history as King Henry VIII of England, he of the many wives fame. Catherine was his first wife, but in an act that eventually led to England breaking from the Catholic Church, they divorced.

The new show will follow on from The White Queen (2013) and The White Princess (2017), which dramatized the lives of Elizabeth Woodville (The Greatest Showman‘s Rebecca Ferguson) and Elizabeth of York (Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer) respectively, to tell their granddaughter and daughter-in-law Catherine’s story.

Phew. Still with us?

Catherine will be played by Charlotte Hope, who you might recognize as Myranda from Game of Thrones, or from her role alongside Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking‘s younger sister Philippa in The Theory of Everything. The young English actress tweeted her excitement about the show yesterday (May 17):

The White Queen and The White Princess scribe Emma Frost will once again pen this series, which focusses on Catherine’s early life, as she travels to England to marry the future King of England (Kingdom‘s Angus Imrie).

The drama will feature plenty of historical figures, including Arthur’s formidable grandmother Margaret Beaufort (The Crown and Call the Midwife‘s Dame Harriet Walter), his guardian Margaret Pole (Downton Abbey‘s Laura Carmichael), his father King Henry VII (Luther‘s Elliot Cowan), and his charismatic younger brother Prince Harry (Delicious‘s Ruairi O’Connor).

Top Boy‘s Stephanie Levi-John will play Catherine’s lady-in-waiting and confidante Lina de Cardonnes, as the drama also seeks to shed light on the lives of people of color who lived and worked in 16th century London.

Filming started yesterday (May 17), with the drama expected to air later this year or early 2019.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.