Your cheeky guide to the dynasty

Spanish Lite


Hey Hollywood and friends, I’ve got a bone to pick with you: Why oh why do you insist on making Catherine of Aragon a contender for the Frida Kahlo Look-a-Like contest?

Catherine, a Spanish princess, had strawberry blonde hair, light eyes, and a fair complexion. See, above?

She and Henry VIII (a ginger with a light complexion as well) had Mary I, so don’t even think of giving her the exotic treatment. You’ve already given her the stubby-little-troll  treatment and the bitter grouchpot treatment, poor girl.



  Anne Barnhill wrote @

You have a point! Catherine was fair, fairer than Anne Boleyn–they were sort of opposites I guess–not what people expected.

  Claire wrote @

It was due to Hollywood that I had the idea that Katherine had dark hair and eyes and I only found out that this was untrue when I became interested in Tudor history a few years ago. I don’t know why they do that, they always make her out to be fairly unattractive too – when really she was quite beautiful (especially when she was young). I’ll be celebrating the day when they finally make a Tudor film with a fair Katherine. lol I think it’ll be a while until that happens though!

  Roane wrote @

The media likes to apply stereotypes to women in films and series. If she were pretty – more pretty than Anne Boleyn – the viewers would probably not side with Anne, and so wouldn’t want Henry to be with her, and wouldn’t watch the film.
Just generalising, but that’s my opinion!

  carly wrote @

It bothers me, yet it also doesn’t. Hollywood’s not going to change, mostly because it’s a visual medium. It’s easier to show a stereotypical Spanish person rather than take 30 minutes to explain her back story.

  A Different Lara wrote @

Oh my gosh I have always found the SAME thing so annoying!!! Also, by the time she and Henry were no longer bedfellows, she was a little “chubby” (as evidenced from writings and the Horenbout miniature) from all the stress and miscarried pregnancies, I would imagine. They never portray THAT, either. Just a thin, old, dark-haired person. Oh well.

  Lady Meg wrote @

It was thought because of her English ancestry that she appeared with a light complexion, had light eyes, and auburn hair; she descended from John of Gaunt twice through her mother Isabella I of Castile by both Constance of Castile and Blanche of Lancaster. There is also a theory that it was Peter I of Castile who was the father of Constance, Duchess of Lancaster.

  Bridgett wrote @

Agree completely! Catherine was rather beautiful for a woman back in those times…. I completely hated the TROLL look for Mary!! lol

  Helen Azar wrote @

In BBC’s Six Wives of Henry VIII (with Keith Michell) she is portrayed correctly. However they did screw up with Katherine Parr and portrayed her as a Frida Kahlo look alike LOL. But it still remains my favorite “wives” show!

  xgenesisx wrote @

I think the dark hair is meant to make it more obvious to viewers that she’s Spanish, since not everyone is a history buff. And the women playing Catherine that were listed here? I think they’re all very pretty. Particularly in the Tudors, Katherine is extremely beautiful, and you just know she was a stunner in her youth as the character is meant to be. If anything, the actresses playing Anne Boleyn in films are far too pretty; that bothers me more than a dark-haired Catherine. Anne Boleyn was said to be very average with the exception of having dark, pretty eyes. So what does Hollywood do? Makes her stunning, and sometimes blue-eyed. LOL

  dainty64 wrote @

This bothers me a great deal for hollywood always wants the spanish and mexicans to be dark and ugly. When in reality most spanish and mexican women ate much prettier than the bland ugly anglo women. We of spanish descend as do other ethnic groups come in all colors ,size, and beauty. I am mexican and am fair with light hair and look nothing like Frida. The anglo people cannot stand the fact that Cathrine was actually more beautiful than any of the wives of Henry. As a matter of fact Ann Boleyn was not very pretty at all. Mary was better looking than Ann but neither of the Boleyn sisters were known for their beauty. I truly believe that Hollywood is a racist place and will never do it right. It is is made up of Jews and Anglos who refuse fact over fiction. This is why I stopped watching movies made in Hollywood. I now watch the Spanish channels and Foreign movies. Spanish people should boycott movies made by the jews and the anglos to show them how unfair they been in portraying our people as ugly or by other ethnic groups. If you go back to history you will notice that the English women were not pretty at all. I am tired of seeing Catherine as ugly with a wart on her face. When in reality it was Ann who had an ugly growth on her neck. The Catherine in Ann of A thousand Days looked more like an indian woman. Hollywood get real and start telling the truth or no one will watch your movies. If you notice most jewish women have had nose jobs for most of them have ugly big noses. Most of the movies in hollywood are played by Jewish women. There is no real beauty in Hollywood anymore, like Rita Hayworth, Yvette mimieu etc, who were of Spanish descend.

  barb wrote @

Hi there, I do agree that Hollywood portrays Spaniards, Mexicans, etc. as dark when they aren’t always so…that’s the point of this post, of course. However, additional inflammatory comments will force me to ban you permanently so please do take that into consideration in the future.

  Cat Marcuri wrote @

It would be interesting to know where Mary I got her looks from…

  Nancy wrote @

Ferdinand and Isabella, Katherine’s parents had both English and Germanic DNA. The various Germanic tribes that invaded Spain after the fall of the Roman Empire eventually created Castile and Aragon, the two northern kingdoms before the Reconquista. The darker haired people were (or are) from the south where the Moorish and North African influence was stronger.

Portraits of Ferdinand and Isabella’s children show them with light hair – I believe that there are portraits of Juana (la loca), the youngest sister, was also a blond or had light brown hair. I seem to remember reading some chronicle of the period when Katherine first arrived as describing her as fair haired or maybe auburn haired. So, yes, Hollywood got it wrong but then, I don’t look to them for historical accuracy.

  sage wrote @

its because Hollywood equates Spanish with dark exotic looking about stereotyping.

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