Episode 4 of Starz' Spanish Princess, "The Other Woman," again gets the essential history right but plays with the human details. There is little real history in this episode, and therefore a lot of romantic fiction.
What Starz got right: first, Queen Margaret did secretly marry Angus, reluctantly relinquish her sons, and escape to Henry's protection in England because she feared for her life. All the details in the episode are wrong, but the result is correct. Her oldest son becomes the grandfather of Mary Queen of Scots and great grandfather of James I, Queen Elizabeth I's anointed heir and the monarch who united England and Scotland and thus brought peace between them thereafter. Mostly.
The remainder of Margaret's story is racy and bizarre enough that I hope Starz will simply document the truth in future episodes.
Second, "The Other Woman" documents the ascendancy of Thomas Wolsey, wisely relied on by Henry VIII because Wolsey was a brilliant and enormously capable man—not the foolish misogynist pictured by Starz. Henry's Council, all from ancient families, despised Wolsey for his low birth and power. While Queen Katherine may have felt the same, the real histories document only cooperation between them (before the Battle of Flodden, for example, discussed in my blog on the "Flodden" episode) at this time.
We can date "The Other Woman" episode to 1516, when Margaret fled Scotland, Katherine gave birth to Mary and Bessie Blount became Henry's next mistress, probably during that pregnancy. But Starz stuck some of the earlier and later history into "The Other Woman"—and inevitably got most of the details wrong in the process.
Where to begin in identifying the fiction in this episode? Probably five years earlier, in 1510, when Henry's affair with Anne Hastings actually occurred, during Katherine's first pregnancy and "confinement." (Starz skipped that entirely—Katherine's first stillborn was a daughter. She also had another stillborn son in 1514.) There was a well-documented explosion between Katherine and Henry at that time, when she found out about Anne. Details, along with what actually happened to queens during "confinement" are in my book, CANNON CONSPIRACY, available through the link below. Anne was bundled off to a convent by her husband and never reinstated as lady-in-waiting to the Queen. She had eight children by Lord Hastings—at least three by the time of this episode—so her marriage was hardly sexless. William Compton covered for them during her affair with Henry, and was himself accused of living with her eleven years later, in 1527—a mysterious and unproved accusation, since both remained married to their respective spouses.
Those true events are the likely basis for Starz' fiction that Lady Margaret fobbed Compton off on Anne Hastings. We know Henry did NOT try to marry Lady Margaret off to Compton, ever, because Compton was already married, as documented fact. Neither did Margaret flirt with Sir Thomas More, at least then, because he was never her son's tutor and not yet active at court. That comes later. (See my blog on the "Grief" episode for more on this point.) It is true, however, that Margaret was well-educated and that Thomas More promoted womens' education by raising erudite daughters. So they had something in common. But they could not have carried on a flirtation in 1516 because More was not there.
Why did Katherine have all those stillbirths, and all Henry's children except for Elizabeth die young, the boys in their teens and small, constantly ill Mary at 45? Why did Anne Boleyn have three miscarriages before she was beheaded? And why did Katherine die before Anne Boleyn did, and Bessie Blount also die young? There is a simple though disputed explanation, which you can learn FREE by reading the first pages of A CANNON CONSPIRACY, available at https://www.amazon.com/Henry-VIII-Katherine-Aragon-Machiavelli-ebook/dp/B08KSKXW2S/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Maryann+Philip&qid=1604341142&sr=8-2 (Just tap the picture of the book, for access to the FREE pages.) For a summary of the circumstantial evidence supporting that theory, though, you'll have to buy the e-book—or get it FREE if you have KindleUnlimited—and check the Afterword. CANNON CONSPIRACY is full of wonderful portraits from that era, including the one featured in this blog. Like my other "real history mysteries," it averages 4 out of 5 stars in early reviews. And it's only $2.99. Please write a review if you enjoy it!