Bonnie Comeback on Outlander?

Judging by Andrew Gower‘s filmography on his agent’s website, it seems like he’ll reprise his role as Bonnie Prince Charlie in the upcoming 6th season of Outlander which is currently in post-production and rumoured for a release in early 2022.

Season 6 of the historical drama series is based on the 6th book of Diana Gabaldon‘s Highland saga A Breath of Snow and Ashes which is set just before the American Revolutionary War. time-travelling WW2 combat nurse Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and her 18th century Highland warrior husband Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) now live in the American colonies and try to build a life for their extended family and a number of Scottish refugees, who used to fight alongside Jamie in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 under the “Young Pretender” Prince Charles Edwad Stuart (Andrew Gower).

In August 1774, Claire and Jamie are invited to a barbecue at River Run, the plantation of Jamie’s wealthy Aunt Jocasta (Maria Doyle Kennedy). Guest of honour for the occassion is none other than the “Heroine of the Highlands” Flora MacDonald, who famously helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape Government troups by dressing him up as her Irish maid Betty Burke.

When Claire meets Flora at the party she reminisces about what became of the Prince after the Battle of Culloden where his Highland army was devastatingly defeated by British forces led by Prince William, Duke of Cumberland (also known as “Butcher Cumberland”).

“Bonnie” Prince Charles Edward Suart and Flora MacDonald

Odd, that it should have been the defeat of Charles Stuart, and his ignominious flight, that made a heroine of Flora MacDonald and united these Highland exciles in a way that they could never have achieved – let alone sustained – had he actually won.

It struck me suddenly that Charlie was likely still alive, quietly drinking himself to death in Rome. In any real way, though, he was long since dead to these people who had loved or hated him. The amber of time had sealed him forever in that one defining moment of his life – Bliadha Tearlach; “Charlie’s Year,” it meant, and even now, I heard people call it that.

(Source: Diana Gabaldon – A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Chapter 54 “Flora MacDonald’s Barbecue”)

It is possible that the TV adaption will use this encounter with Flora MacDonald for a brief flashback to show the Prince’s flight from Scotland in 1746 or maybe it will give us a glimpse at the aged Prince, “quietly drinking himself to death in Rome” as the novel says.

Either way, it’ll definitely be a scene worth seeing – and dare we hope for a final (and 18th) “mark me”?

Andrew Gower as Bonnie Prince Charlie in S2 of Outlander (middle), with the Prince dressed as Betty Burke (left) and Charles Edward Stuart in 1775 (right)