The York rebellion has been given new life with Richard’s marriage to Cathy Gordon. Meanwhile Henry and Lizzie work to secure the throne through an arranged marriage with Spain. Here’s our recap of “English Blood on English Soil”.
“English Blood on English Soil” begins with the beheading of William Stanley, one of the traitors from the previous episode as well as Henry’s mother’s brother-in-law.
“Before I die, you are not a King and you are not fit to be one.”
He tells Henry that he’ll kill many men after him because there are many man who would line up and die for the true King, Richard.
He loses his head and Henry’s children are there watching. Their oldest turns away while their younger son, Harry (Henry VIII) looks on. <—I see what you’re doing there.
“Arthur, you will never wear the crown if you cannot watch a traitor die.”
Henry leaves the viewing stand and Elizabeth looks shaken.
In the garden, Henry tells his concerns to Lizzie. If the man who won him the crown can turn against him, anyone can. He asks her if she’s loyal to him and she tells him of course she is.
Henry brings up the moment Elizabeth ruined Harry’s ennobling. He tells her that she couldn’t look at him then, and she can’t look at him now.
That’s when Lizzie confesses that Richard, her little brother, was actuall hidden away and a servant boy was sent to the Tower in his place.
“You have lied to me for years!”
Lizzie tells him the she wasn’t trying to hurt him, but protect him.
“When we first wed, I was full of malice. And my reasons for not telling you changed and I convinced myself I was shielding you.
She reiterates that the boy isn’t Richard, and Henry asks who he is because once he’s married to Cathy Gordon, he’ll come for Henry’s kingdom.
The scene shifts from England to Burgundy and Richard’s wedding.
The Duchess of Burgundy is speaking to Duchess Cecily about how a representative from every royal family in Europe is there, and Cecily points out that Spain isn’t there.
“They’re busy with their newfound world and wealth. They’re too busy to concern themselves with our small lives.”
Yeah, or they could be aligned with the Tudors since Catherine of Aragon might be wed to Arthur…
In London, and Henry is trying to speak to his mother, who is dressed in mourning clothes.
Henry tells her that he misses Jasper’s advice but it’s been three months…
Lady Margaret says she can’t bear it. Henry tells her he can’t lose her and his uncle.
“She feels Jasper’s death quite keenly.”
A letter arrives for Henry and tells him that the boy is actually the son of a dock worker. He can’t wait to write to King Richard of Scotland and tell him that he married off his cousin to “Sir Nobody from Nowhere.”
Lizzie looks extremely uncomfortable and Henry asks her what is wrong. Elizabeth has written to Lizzie, begging her to visit.
Over in Bermondsey Abbey, Lizzie is being helped to drink some water by Maggie.
Why Maggie? Because she’s a saint and too good for this world.
Elizabeth tells her that she’s good to come see her when her own daughters won’t. Maggie tells her that they were in London to see Teddy anyway. Elizabeth says that she’s seen her son, Richard, and that’s when Richard Poole steps in and says that they saw a pretender, not her son.
Before they leave, Elizabeth tells Maggie to get Lizzie to visit her.
Lizzie is with her sons during a lesson (you can hear them learning Spanish) when Maggie arrives. She tells Lizzie they haven’t had a chance to speak since she returned from Burgundy, and Lizzie is unusually cold towards her.
She asks her what they would speak of, traitors or the nightmares her son has now that he’s witnessed a man he cared about be beheaded. Lizzie tells Maggie that she knows she’s been to see Elizabeth again.
They’ve stopped trying to keep Elizabeth from writing, instead, they let the monks copy the letters for them before they send them off to Burgundy.
Maggie tells Lizzie that she read the latest letter from Burgundy. That everyone in Europe has accepted Richard and they all attended the wedding, except for Spain. Lizzie asks if she’s sure that Spain didn’t attend, and Maggie tells her it was in the letter.
Lizzie leaves Maggie there and doesn’t answer when she asks if she’ll visit her mother now.
Lizzie interrupts a counsel meeting and tells Henry they need to arrange for Arthur’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
The only person who thinks it’s too hasty is Lord Stanley who says that if Europe really backed the boy the wouldn’t have married him off to some third cousin of the poorest land in Christendom.
Still, Henry likes the idea of aligning with a powerful country like Spain and says that he and Lizzie will go, in person, to negotiate the arrangement.
Lady Margaret is still in the chapel and crying when the Cardinal arrives. She confesses that she has sinned, and the Cardinal tries to wave her off as being the most devote lady he knows.
She tries to confess to murder, but the Cardinal keeps cutting her off.
“Losing those we love can test our faith. A pilgrimage will help you find your way.”
He sends her away to go around to all the abbeys, quoting scripture that when she does, everything will be clean to her.
I want to know what this man knows on Lady Margaret because it’s obvious he knows something.
Henry’s preparing to leave for Spain and sees Arthur watching from the window.
Richard and Maggie come out and wish him safe journey because they’re returning to Wales. That’s when Henry tells Richard that he’s naming him Arthur’s tutor and guardian in his absence.
“I can think of no one better than a loyal Tudor solider who reminds me of my Uncle.”
I’m right there with Henry because Richard Poole is a good man who deserves everything in life.
Maggie tells him that they’ll take him with them to Wales, and Henry tells them that they’ll be staying in London. When Maggie brings up their son, who is still in Wales, Henry says that he’ll send someone to collect him and have him brought to London.
Maggie doesn’t look happy about this at all. She wanted a life away from London, but she’s being pulled back in more and more.
Richard asks if they’ll be taking care of Harry, too, and Henry tells them that he’s going with his mother on her pilgrimage.
**deepest sigh ever***
“Small mercies anyway, Harry’s a handful.”
Richard tries to look at the silver lining and tells her that she can visit Teddy more while they’re in London and they’ll be home soon.
Harry and Lady Margaret are on their pilgrimage and talking about her family. Harry asks if her father was a king and she tells him that he was a sinner. Harry then asks why he couldn’t go with his parents or stay with Arthur, and his grandmother lays it out for him.
“You are the second son. While your brother will be King, you may be Pope and answer only to the Lord, your God.”
Heaven help us all.
Henry and Lizzie kiss and flirt as they board a boat to Spain.
Then we go back to Burgundy.
The Duchess is walking Richard to his horse and tells him that since the Scottish king hasn’t given them his full support, he needs to throw on that York charm.
We see Cathy, who is pregnant, look on. The Duchess of Burgundy goes to Cathy and gives her some advice:
“Make him happy but no so happy that he forgets his cause.”
Richard tells his grandmother Cecily goodbye and she takes a long look at him before letting him go.
She tells the Duchess of Burgundy that the more she thinks about it, the more she doubts that Richard is really Richard. That his eyes were different as a boy.
Of course, the Duchess shrugs this off, saying that she’s confusing Richard and Edward.
This is just further putting doubt on the boys claim as Richard.
The Duchess of Burgundy tells her that they’re just worried about losing Richard, but he will destroy Henry Tudor.
Duchess Cecily tells her that her need for vengeance may kill another innocent boy.
In Spain, Henry and Lizzie are introduced to their son’s future bride.
It’s obvious that things are very different between England and Spain. Spain is bright and lively, and it’s seen in Henry and Lizzie’s faces when the introduction to Princess Catherine is done through a choreographed dance between the child and members of the court.
The introduction of Queen Isabella and King Fernando is no less of a show.
Henry attempts to broker a deal between the two nations, but Queen Isabella says they’ll speak in Spanish. Henry’s at a loss because he can’t speak it, and they begin to talk about how they can’t even keep their house in order and they want to marry their son to their daughter, the most prized possession in the marriage mart.
Well, Lizzie isn’t having any of that. She starts speaking Spanish, telling the King and Queen that she learned with her sons, so she’ll be able to speak with Princess Catherine. Henry has never looked so proud on this show before, and it filled my heart up.
Queen Isabella tells Lizzie that if she wants a marriage, she needs to get the Tudor house in order and kill the two York boys.
Richard and Teddy.
Lizzie tries to explain that the boy is an imposter, but the Queen tells her that he still has support and that will bring war.
“Why should we give our daughter to a throne that will be snatched from under her?”
“When there is only one heir to the English throne, then we will talk about marriage. Until that day, we don not sign. England is alone.”
The Queen tells Lizzie that she’s supposed to lie to Henry, and tell them that what she said was about the Pope. Henry believes her and says that after she writes the Pope, they’ll be approved for the marriage.
Lady Margaret is visiting abbeys and giving out money left and right and Harry watches her.
When he asks, why she gave him gold and what she bought, Lady Margaret tells hims:
“In giving, I find Grace. If you dedicate yourself to God, everything you do is for His will.”
The poor child asks how many more they’ll have to visit and she tells him as many as it takes to hear his voice…and now we know how Harry ended up the way he did.
In Bermondsey Abbey, Elizabeth is having a dream about soldiers marching home being lead by Richard.
In London, Richard Poole wakes up Maggie and tells her that the boy has crossed over into England with soldiers. She’s to get Arthur and they’ll take him to the Prince’s apartments in the Tower for protection.
Arthur asks if his father knows what’s happening, and Maggie tells him that he’ll be alerted as soon as his ship docks.
In the Tower, they see Teddy. He’s hunched over and has laid out half eaten apples. He asks them if they’ve sinned, too.
Lady Margaret is approached by a monk, who brings news of a Scottish invasion and Cornwall rising up.
She follows him to the abbey and she’s incensed by what’s happening.
In the monestary, she and Harry watch as people carrying pitchforks and other things march by. She thanks the monks for saving her and Harry and they tell her they wouldn’t be let into Heaven if they had let harm come to them.
In return for their kindness, Lady Margaret tells them that she will build a library at the monastery since they don’t have one.
“You are very kind, Your Grace. We are in your debt.”
“When they pass, we will return to London. The Lord does not smile on my pilgrimage.”
Henry and Lizzie arrive in London, and he asks Richard how many men the boy has.
They believe it is four thousand.
The Cardinal is telling Henry that not only does he need to worry about the Scottish and the boy, but the south of England is rising up due to a tax he imposed to support a future war with the Scottish.
So, he can’t pull solders from the south to help fight off the boy, and he must squash those rebellions. He divvies up the troops, tells Richard Poole to mark down the names of people who don’t ride for him because they’re against him, and when the Cardinal asks about Spain, he tells him.
“England has no allies.”
As they all leave, Lizzie asks Richard Poole where Arthur is and he tells her that he’s in the Tower for his safety and Harry is on his way back from the pilgrimage.
Henry is suiting up for battle and Lizzie helps him with his weapons.
“I have never gone to battle without Jasper.”
“He’s still with you Henry. His strength rides with you on the battlefield and so does mine.”
“I will return to you a victor.”
He’s able to see Harry before he leaves and Lady Margaret tries to speak to him, but he walks right past her.
During the battle, Elizabeth is casting spells for Richard.
The winds change and Henry looks out into the woods. They walk down a stream that fills with fog behind them.
They start to hear people, but they don’t find anyone.
In Bermondsey Abbey, Elizabeth drops her ring into the bowl and falls back in her chair, unable to complete the spell.
Henry arrives back in London and tells Lizzie that the boy withdrew and didn’t stand against him.
Lizzie tells him that no one will ever believe his claim again because no York would ever run from battle.
In their rooms, we finally get the love scene between them that we’ve been waiting for. One that sees them caring for each other and happy. It’s everything to wipe away the only other scene we have of them together which basically amounted to rape.
As they lie there afterward, Henry says:
“I never thought we’d have this.”
“But we do and none shall take it from us.”
He’s holding her and she rolls toward him and they kiss.
Honestly, it’s everything I wanted it to be and more.
In Burgundy, the Duchess is having a fit that the boy ran away from battle after everything she’s done for him.
He left the battle for his son to be born.
The Scottish king is threatening to make peace with the Tudors because of their wasted money.
Despite this news, the Duchess of Burgundy seems at peace with how everything is progressing.
Henry tells everyone that the boy didn’t leave the battlefield because he was scared, he left because he was going to greet his newborn son.
The son strengthens his claim on the throne and others will now declare for him. Richard Poole says maybe he won’t come back, but Henry says:
“He’ll come. We do not know where or when, but he’ll come.”
Henry says they need Spain more than ever, and Lizzie knows the only way they’ll gain Spain.
Several scenes run together as Henry deals with the prospect of going to war with no support. Lizzie’s writing letters to the other nobles, asking them to support Henry’s cause as he rides to protect England. Lady Margaret is laid prostrate on the chapel floor, praying. Elizabeth is walking the grounds of Bermondsey Abbey and falls down.
Henry approaches Lizzie as she’s writing the letters to the noble families. She tells him there are over fifty families and they must all turn out for him.
Instead of addressing that, he caresses her shoulder and tells her:
“Your mother is dying. You must go to her. I regret that I did not see Jasper. He asked for me. Now I shall never know what he would have said to me. Go.”
He tells her he would have done exactly as the boy has done. He has gathered the Cornish that hate Henry to fight against him and he must ride south now.
Lizzie goes to see her mother as she lays dying.
“I waited for you.”
“What we have lived through together.”
Elizabeth tells her that she’s dying, and she begs that Lizzie be there for her brother. Elizabeth tells her that she hasn’t been fair to her and Lizzie tells her that she loves her and it’s okay.
Once again, Elizabeth asks Lizzie to take care of Richard and make sure he’s not in danger. She takes off her witchcraft ring and gives it to Lizzie.
Elizabeth dies shortly after it’s taken off.
In the York camp, Richard is praying and Cathy comes up behind him. He tells her to go and seek sanctuary and when he’s done, he’ll come for them.
In the Tudor camp, Lizzie shows up and tells Henry that her mother died and asks why the nobles aren’t there.
They blame Henry for the sweating sickness or they feel since Spain isn’t with them that they’re weak.
“The boy has the whole Kingdom and my own men flocking to his side.”
“No! They are traitors. They will not do this.”
Lizzie rides to stop them and she asks if they know him.
“England is invaded by a pretender and the Scots. Since when have Englishmen feared gales and Celts and run from battle with their tales tucked between their legs?”
“They say he is the true king. Richard of York.”
“If he were Richard, he would be my brother and I would tell you so myself, but he is here to kill your King and rob England of what was never his. If your fear God, then you will honor your true king, Henry Tudor. And if you will not do it for your king then do it for me. The daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, who has just passed from this life into God’s hands.”
And just like that, Elizabeth brings back the nobles and Henry’s chances of winning.
“When this battle is over, you will live in peace with your families, knowing you have done your duty to your King, your God, and your Queen.”
In the tent, Henry asks how he can repay her and she tells him to come back to her. She almost tells him that she loves him, and he tells her to tell him afterward.
During the battle, Henry comes face-to-face with Richard, but just like that, he disappears.
At court, Henry sits beside Lizzie and they watch their children play in front of them. Lizzie tells him that he won and the boy withdrew.
Lord Stanley receives a letter, saying that the boy has claimed sanctuary in an abbey that sheltered her. Lady Margaret takes this a sign that her pilgrimage was okay’ed by God and says she’ll go and get the boy.
She casually drops that the monk can look up God’s work in their library…
The boy is brought out to face Lady Margaret, and she asks if he has anything else to wear. He ends up changing clothes with a guard.
Cathy watches from an upstairs window.
The children are playing cards with Lizzie and Henry when Lord Stanely comes into the room, telling them that Lady Margaret has the boy.
Henry and Lizzie share a look, and it’s like Lizzie is afraid of what she’ll see when he arrives.
Next week on The White Princess, the boy causes problems in Henry and Lizzie’s marriage. Will this pretender make Henry doubt things even more between them?
Here’s a look into next week’s episode, “Two Kings”.
A pretender to the throne is held captive at court, confounding the Tudors, and creating a new rift in Lizzie and King Henry’s marriage. Lizzie faces an impossible choice, and makes a risky move to try to eliminate the threat to her family.
The White Princess airs on Sundays at 8/7c on Starz! Be sure to live tweet with us @WeSoNerdy!