This is one of the few tales where I think death was a bit harsh for the false bride. In other tales with a false bride figure, she is usually SHOWN to be evil and wicked. She usually does something violent against the female protagonist that makes her the villain. In this story, she is said to be as wicked as she was ugly, but we’re only shown that she was a liar and only then because she was afraid the prince would reject her. She did not forcefully, deceitfully, or magically try to take Maleen’s place as the bride. Though in that day and age, getting caught duping royalty for any reason would be considered treason, right?
EDIT: After reading some of the comments, I might have to concede. Emelia’s order to have Maleen killed (who was now technically the princess of that kingdom) was pretty evil. If she had just been honest from the start, Emelia might have become the princess. Instead, she chose deceit and lies. I guess I find death a really harsh punishment in general. And after watching the graphic nature of beheading in The Tudors, egh, it’s just scary and awful! O_O