Many have been very quick to criticise ‘The White Queen’ after just two episodes because of some historical inaccuracies with costumes and scenery. However, audiences need to divert their attention away from the costume malfunctions and see the reality that the Wars of the Roses were one of the most turbulent dynastic struggles in our Royal history. We should be praising the cast and production team for creating a series which has finally brought this brilliant period of history into the public eye.
We have already seen backstabbing plots, sibling rivalry, stolen titles, strategic marriages and treasonous beheadings. And that was only in two episodes! So what could possibly happen next?
At the end of episode two we saw Edward being taken prisoner by Warwick and his pawn, George. But this wouldn’t be a very good series if Edward was held prisoner for the rest of his life whilst Warwick ruled England through George and that was that. Warwick has many faults to his character, and at the beginning of episode three we will see how he momentarily takes his eye off of his captive, which allows Edward to escape and make his way back to his beloved wife.
However, it cannot be happy families for very long (although I don’t think any family twisted in these events were happy for any length of time). Edward, who wants peace and the prevention of any further bloodshed, refuses his wife’s wishes to see Warwick and George’s heads on spikes. Edward wants stability and resolution with the man who put him on the throne in the first place.
Elizabeth however will take on a different front. She will not sit and smile graciously whilst Warwick schemes around her. She will show her authority and take vengeance on Warwick and anyone in conspiracies with him, including his wife and daughters, Anne and Isabel.
Isabel is pregnant after her hasty marriage to George, which is another predicament altogether. If her child is a boy then he shall have a stronger claim to the throne than Edward and Elizabeth’s children, creating a greater reason for Warwick to use George to rebel once again.
As tensions at court rise, Margaret Beaufort is still at work against the Yorkist regime with the aid of Jasper Tudor and her half-brother Richard Welles. Warwick sees this opportunity to act against the king, using the Lancastrian supporters for his own cause. Events of a rebellion lead to Jasper fleeing into exile, leaving little Henry Tudor all alone at Pembroke, whilst Warwick and George look to France for help.
Elizabeth and her mother, Jacquetta, turn to magic to conjure up a storm to try to prevent their enemies reaching Calais, but it seems it is Isabel and Anne who are most affected.
Episode three will be broadcasted on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 30th June.