Production has commenced on The White Princess, the follow-up to The White Queen STARZ miniseries. Check out the synopsis and cast-list below!
Back before I found Twilight and got deep into the life of reading, reviewing, and fangirling, Philippa Gregory and her series of Tudor-inspired historical fiction/romance had me enthralled. I have a pretty vigorous fascination with British political history, especially the King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I period. So I devoured Gregory’s novels like The Other Boleyn Girl, The Queen’s Fool, and The Constant Princess. Gregory does such an amazing job of couching her fiction in historical facts and situations. Even more riveting, she gives us voices of the phenomenal (and scheming) women who took part!
So when STARZ aired the mini series The White Queen, based on Gregory’s book of the same name, I was all in!
The book is the first in The Cousins’ War series, a prequel to her Tudor Court novels, that explores England’s War of the Roses and the rise of the House of Tudor. We focus on Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson), wife of King Edward IV of the House of York (played by the sexy Max Irons).
However, the story also follows Margaret Beaufort (House of Lancaster, Henry Tudor’s mother, Henry VIII’s grandmother) and Anne Neville (who eventually becomes Queen of England when her husband Richard—Edward IV’s brother—seizes the throne). The TV show is sexy and scandalous, with as much political scheming as you can imagine. JUICY!
At the end of the 10 episodes (and as history tells us), Henry Tudor’s forces win the final battle; he is named King of England as Henry VII and is betrothed to Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV). This marriage will unite the Houses of Lancaster and York and pave the way for a bright and peaceful future… right?
Well, not quite! Earlier today, STARZ announced that production has commenced on the follow-up series, The White Princess. We can expect eight episodes, also based on the Philippa Gregory novel of the same name (the fifth book in The Cousins’ War book series). From the synopsis, nothing is settled:
The White Princess concludes the story of England’s War of the Roses and charts the rise of the House of Tudor through the tempestuous marriage between Princess Elizabeth of York and King Henry VII.
The year is 1485 and Princess Elizabeth, daughter of “The White Queen,” has been pledged in marriage to the newly anointed King Henry VII in hopes that it will bring peace to a war-torn country. England is united, but their marriage is soon divided, as rumors circulate that Elizabeth’s long-lost brother Prince Richard is alive and planning to take the throne. Now she must choose between Tudor wife and York princess, between her new husband and the boy who claims to be her own blood and the true heir to the crown.
Even after the death of her husband King Edward IV and the fall of her House from the throne, Elizabeth Woodville’s faith in York’s eventual return to power is sustained by the boy she believes to be Prince Richard—her last surviving son and the only genuine challenge to King Henry’s royal claim. Meanwhile, Margaret Beaufort understands that winning the throne and keeping it safe for the Tudor line are two different things, and works to fortify King Henry’s rule, as York rivals continue to plot against them.
Loyalties blur and families find themselves on opposing sides as the House of Tudor tries to cement its rule over an increasingly fragmented empire, where loyalty is a scarce commodity and the fear of betrayal is ever-present.The White Princess” is a tale of power, family, love, betrayal and death, which charts one of the most tumultuous times in British history uniquely from the point of view of the women waging the ongoing battle for the English throne.
Henry VII, the paranoid and unlikely king forced to marry an enemy to secure his throne, is played by Jacob Collins-Levy.
Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the rival House of York and equally unenthused by her marriage, is played by Jodie Comer.
Princess Elizabeth’s mother Dowager Queen Elizabeth “The White Queen,” indomitable strategist and unwavering supporter of the York cause, is played by Essie Davis.
Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII’s mother and the calculating mastermind behind Henry’s ascent to the Throne of England, is played by Michelle Fairley (AKA Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones!).
The Duchess of Burgundy, Elizabeth of York’s aunt, and sister to dead kings Richard III and Edward IV of England, is played by Joanne Whalley.
Cecily of York, the self-interested and jealous younger sister to Princess Elizabeth is played by Suki Waterhouse.
Margaret Plantagenet, cousin and reluctant member of the York clan, is played by Rebecca Benson.
The White Princess is currently filming on location in Bristol, UK, directed by Jamie Payne, and written by Emma Frost (pictured about with Jacob Collins-Levy and Jodie Comer). The series will air on STARZ in 2017.