Based on the novels by Philippa Gregory The White Queen is a rambunctious medieval drama that first came fighting and flirting its way to our screens on the 16th June Sunday night on BBC one. Set during the War of the Roses (1455- 1487) it tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a commoner and widower with two young sons, the fast paced programme moves quickly through time and shows the implications as Elizabeth of the house of Lancaster meets the young, handsome and new King York Edward IV at the side of the rode with the hopeful intention of reclaiming her dead husband’s property as he was fighting against King Edward in the war.
She does of course reclaim the property by swishing, fluttering and at one point putting a knife to her throat but, she also manages to bag herself a King as well, needless to say it was a confusing courtship.
Her family are disappointed with her decision to marry the York King as their loyalties do not lie with him, they belong to King Henry and, at first feel that Elizabeth has been tricked into a false marriage by Edward and will never be Queen, but this is not the case, her family clearly had no faith in her swishing abilities. Edward IV ran a great risk by marrying outside his own house and a commoner at that, his uncle Lord Warwick was furious when he found out what the young King had done and tried to convince him into marrying a French Princess instead for political reasons but Edward would not budge.
Edward was a bit of fool, needless to say every family has one and Warwick uses this to his advantage. Earning himself the title ‘The King Maker’ Warwick would be the one who could organise an uprising against the current King and place a new King on the throne with a new claim to the title. Warwick was responsible for placing Edward on the throne and would have no problem moving his loyalties elsewhere. Warwick planned to marry his young daughters to whoever gave him the most power. Elizabeth was not as, shall we say, dumb as Edward and could always see Warwick for what he was, a master puppeteer. In The White Queen it is the women who make the most interesting characters, they are master manipulators and always know that the man’s way isn’t the only way to get things done.
It has been suggested in some press that The White Queen is a bit like soft p*rn, and all I have to say is there has been four episodes and Elizabeth and Edward already have four children… I said the series was fast moving. Quietly in the background is the ultra-religious and self-sacrificing Margaret Beaufort, Grandmother to Henry the VIII (Well, I guess we all know what happened there…)
As a historical story this is a great re-telling, with all that gold and glamour that’s needed for a Sunday afternoon, roast dinner done, when’s The White Queen coming on I ask? Now, if it’s going to bother you that the steps are made of stone, their dresses have zips and Max irons, The Host (If you can’t forgive him for being Max Irons then shame on you) But in all honesty he does look like he has been dressed in Top shop and given a sword.
But, if you can get over this, which I know you can, then The White Queen is a must for your Sunday nights 9.00pm. Of course I have my own personal issues, the girls’ hair is just too good, but that’s just me.