|Occupation||Prince of England|
|First appearance||"The Foretelling"|
|Last appearance||"The Black Seal"|
|Episode count||6 Episodes|
|Played by||Robert East|
Prince Henry "Harry" Plantagenet, Earl of March (1460-1498) was a fictional character played by Robert East in the popular BBC sitcom Blackadder (series 1).
His Royal titles were the Prince of Wales, Earl of March, Captain of the Guard, Grand Warden of the Northern and Eastern Marches, Chief Lunatic of the Duchy of Gloucester, Viceroy of Wales, Sheriff of Nottingham, Marquess of the Midlands, Lord Po-Maker-In-Ordinary, and Harbinger of the Doomed Rat.
A member of the House of York, Harry is the first son of King Richard IV of England (Brian Blessed) and Queen consort Gertrude of Flanders (Elspet Gray) and great-nephew of Richard III (Peter Cook). He has a younger brother (possibly his half-brother), Prince Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh (Rowan Atkinson).
Background[edit | edit source]
The first portrayal of Prince Harry in the Blackadder story world was in the pilot episode which was shot in 1983 but never broadcast. In this episode, which is set sometime during the Elizabethan Era, Harry's character is one of two sons of the King and Queen of England. Although monarchs are not explicitly named, Harry may be intended as a fictional offspring of Queen Elizabeth I. This version of the character was played by the actor Robert Bathurst.
Prince Harry made his first televised appearance (played by Robert East) in episode 1 of The Black Adder, entitled "The Foretelling", in which the events of the first series are set up by rewriting a period of English history and telling the story of a fictional ruling monarch who succeeds Richard III after the Battle of Bosworth Field. In this version of history, Richard III, King of England, is supported in the battle against Henry Tudor by his nephew Richard, Duke of York, along with the latter's sons Harry, Earl of March and Lord Edmund Plantagenet. Edmund arrives late for the battle and accidentally slaughters King Richard, his great-uncle, by decapitating him in a comedic incident of mistaken identity when he thinks he is trying to steal his horse. Despite this, Henry Tudor loses the battle and the victorious Plantagenet army swears allegiance to their new King Richard IV of England, the nephew of their deceased leader. Harry and Edmund are promoted to Royal Princes. With the death of Richard III, Harry becomes first-in-line heir to the English throne.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Unlike Edmund, Prince Harry is very kind to the ordinary people, and is his father's favorite. His brother hates and envies him, and schemes in every episode to have him killed or otherwise taken out of the way. Harry is far too gullible to realize this, however, as he seems incapable of detecting treachery in anyone. In "The Archbishop", for example, Edmund knows perfectly well that the "accidental" deaths of the previous Archbishops of Canterbury were arranged by the king, but Harry remains in the dark, claiming passionately that each death is "A tragic accident!" despite the impracticality of, as an example, a man tripping and falling onto the top of a church tower.
Harry as Regent[edit | edit source]
In "Born to be King", King Richard IV departs his Kingdom to join a new Crusade against the Turks. Prince Harry is appointed Regent for the duration of his absence. In this capacity, he greets a royal visitor, Dougal McAngus (Alex Norton), who schemes with Edmund behind his back to expose him as the product of an affair between McAngus' father and the Queen. When Edmund reveals papers supposedly proving Harry's illegitimacy, however, Harry deduces that it is in fact Edmund who is illegitimate, and it is revealed that, as a prank, McAngus set Edmund up to say that. MacAngus' "accidental" death a few days later, occurring while sticking his head in a cannon at Edmund's suggestion, helps put the matter to rest. Following the episode, Harry conveniently (or kindly) forgets the matter of Edmund's illegitimacy. It is mentioned in this episode he was born in early 1460.
The Next Few Years[edit | edit source]
In "The Queen of Spain's Beard", King Richard plans to wed Harry to the Infanta of Spain (Miriam Margolyes) in order to form an alliance. Said plan could not work, however; Harry had already been concurrently engaged to several other noble women including Princess Leia of Hungary, and (apparently in an extreme act of diplomatic expediency) Jeremy of Estonia. King Richard then decides to marry Edmund to the Infanta instead (though as often happened, he had to be reminded of Edmund's existence), setting the episode's plot in motion.
Black Plague[edit | edit source]
In "The Witchsmeller Pursuivant", Harry tells Edmund that their father is "feeling a bit under the weather" with what he thinks may be the Black Plague. Harry summons the Privy Council to discuss the matters at hand. The Council concludes that the Plague is the product of witchcraft, and calls for a famous witch hunter (Frank Finlay). Following a rigged test, the Witchsmeller announces that Edmund is a witch; Harry stands by idly as his brother is judged in a show trial and condemned to burn at the stake. He is eventually saved by the Queen, who secretly practices witchcraft.
Death[edit | edit source]
In "The Black Seal", Harry is given several titles while his brother Edmund loses his Duchy and Scottish lands and is reduced to "Warden of the Royal Privies". Outraged, Edmund hatches a plan to usurp the throne with the help of "the most evil men in the land". The plan eventually backfires, however, when an old enemy of Edmund usurps control of them and Edmund is tortured and mutilated to the brink of death. As he lies on his deathbed, Edmund watches as his family drinks wine, accidentally poisoned by Lord Percy when he tried to poison the evil men, thereby finally attaining his lifelong ambition of becoming king. He then makes the mistake of tasting the wine himself to see if that was what caused everyone to die simultaneously, with predictable results.
Titles and honours[edit | edit source]
Lord Henry Plantagenet (1460–1485)
The Earl of March (1460–1499)
Captain of the Guard (1498–1499)
Grand Warden of the Northern and Eastern Marches (1498–1499)
Chief Lunatic of the Duchy of Gloucester (1498–1499)
Viceroy of Wales (1498–1499)
Sheriff of Nottingham (1498–1499)
Marquess of the Midlands (1498–1499)
Lord Po-Maker-In-Ordinary (1498–1499)
Harbinger of the Doomed Rat (1498–1499)