For all the ‘The Tudors’ fans, ‘The Spanish Princess’ is yet another indulgence with its grandeur and royal drama. The series is set twenty years earlier to where the story of The Tudors picks up from and focuses on the early years of Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. Catherine was betrothed to Prince Arthur of Wales, the heir to the English throne. When Catherine arrives at the English court, she attracts many mixed feelings from the royal family and the people of England.
When Arthur suddenly dies five months into their marriage, Catherine must figure out a way to maintain good relations between Spain and England. It is then that she turns her attention to Arthur’s younger brother Prince Harry, who goes on to become King Henry VIII of England. In continuity with the mini-series, ‘The White Princess’ and ‘The White Queen,’ ‘The Spanish Princess’ is set in the Tudor court in the early 16th century. It is based on the alliance between Spain and England, which is also reflected in the filming of the series. Here are the filming locations!
The Spanish Princess Filming Locations
What is striking about the series is the fact that it flaunts Catherine’s culturally diverse entourage, including a good number of women and people of color, which is usually amiss in other period dramas set around this historical event. The series is predominantly filmed in different parts of England, mostly around Bristol and in Spain. Let us take a look at the specific locations where the series is shot!
To show the exteriors of the Westminster Palace, the filming was done at Berkeley Castle. Located at Berkeley, Gloucestershire, the castle was mostly used for its courtyard, parts of the interiors, and the corridors. Most of the Tudor-set dramas are filmed at this location. Whatever could not be found there was re-created at The Bottle Yard Studios, where the stories of ‘The White Princess’ and ‘The White Queen’ were already filmed. The production team actually built a life-sized replica of the interconnected spaces of Westminster Palace, over 30,000 square feet of studio’s export warehouse, and tank house 1.
The studio located at Whitchurch Lane in Bristol is within two hours of Catherine and Arthur’s actual home at Ludlow Castle, which doesn’t feature in the series. Filming in Bristol was very convenient as it is surrounded by ancient cathedrals, houses, and castles; this also makes The Bottle Yard Studio a go-to choice for many location scouts. The Ashton Court Estate at Bristol was also part of the filming process. Wells Cathedral, Somerset, was used for the wedding and funeral scenes. Some bits for Part 2 of the series were filmed at Mendip Hills and finished just before the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gloucester Cathedral cloisters form the corridors shown in ‘The Spanish Princess,’ and you will realize that it is also a part of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter franchise. Other parts of the palace scenes were shot at the Salisbury Cathedral. Caerphilly Castle, close to the Welsh border, which is usually known to be rainy, made an excellent Tower of London for the series.
El Alhambra de Granada, which means the “red walls” in Arabic, was used as the Alhambra Palace in the series. The palace dates back to the 9th century but a part of it was reworked on by Charles V, Catherine’s nephew. Therefore the castle may not look like what it did in Catherine’s childhood but added to the authenticity to the set of the ‘The Spanish Princess.’ The production team obtained special permission to film at the location, shooting in the early hours of the morning before the palace gardens opened to the public.
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