Few periods in history have captured modern-day imagination as the Tudor period has. Henry the VIII and his six wives, the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, who was mother to the redoubtable and legendary Queen Elizabeth I… documentaries, films, YouTube, and Instagram are filled to the brim with stories of the men and women who lived and ruled 15th and 16th century England. But the historical backdrop to the fascinating Tudors was equally gripping- the struggle for power between the warring houses of York and Lancaster, cousins who both had equal claims to the throne.
And as such, unsurprisingly, these have also fired up the imagination of writers and filmmakers. The White Queen, a mini-series made by BBC One, takes a look at the lives of the women involved in the long battle for the throne of England. Beginning in 1464, the story broadly follows the lives of three powerful women, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville, who were instrumental in the power struggle between the two houses.
Elizabeth Woodville, who marries Edward of York, delivers a striking performance as the commoner who married a king. While there is much creative license taken with setting, timelines, and costumes according to the critics, the series nevertheless delivers a beautiful retelling of a turbulent time in British history and captures the formidable courage and cunning of the women who played vital roles in the shaping of those times.
Unsurprisingly, The White Queen was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and a People’s Choice Award. It is an entertaining binge-watch over a weekend after the rigors and stresses of a week of work.
Viewer discretion is advised as some scenes are unsuitable for those under 18.