Freesat jumped at the chance to attend the private screening of the much anticipated medieval drama The White Queen, where the highly praised novelist Philippa Gregory attended as well as some of the cast members.
It dawned on us that the BBC are on a roll of showing us thrilling variants of femme fatale-like characters through great drama. Recently, we saw Gillian Anderson play Stella Gibson as a convincing seductive DSI in the gripping thriller The Fall. The medieval drama The White Queen introduces us to a whirlwind of compelling determined women in their quest for power.
Gregory bares a familiar tale of The Wars of the Roses where we witness the pursuit for power and a hunt for hierarchy, and that’s just the women…
The nine year battle to be the rightful King of England leads to death, slaughter and desperation. Commoner, Elizabeth Woodville from the House of Lancaster played by the compelling Rebecca Ferguson is left a widow. She soon realises she will need to fight for her ancestral land and wealth for the good of her two sons, and there lies our first introduction to a medieval femme fatale.
Elizabeth uses wit and beauty to lure young King Edward IV played by Max Irons (son of actor Jeremy Irons). As a true seductress, Elizabeth entices Edward and just like that they fall in love much to the despair of their feuding families from the House of York and the House of Lancaster.
King Edward IV and Elizabeth’s passionate affair is encouraged by Elizabeth’s mother Jacquetta played by Janet Mcteer. She concocts a spell to guarantee the King’s proposal to her daughter, therefore securing Elizabeth’s future as Queen. However, we soon see not everyone has their best interests at heart…
The King’s adviser Earl of Warwick played by James Frain is more than displeased with Edward marrying a commoner and forms an alliance with the exiled queen Margret of Anjou. The Earl ordered his daughter Anne Neville to shrewdly marry Margret’s son, Prince Edward in order for Anne to become Queen, and there ensues the fight for the highest royal position.
What’s really interesting about this epic drama is the uncompromising characteristics of the women involved, from Elizabeth a mere commoner to Anne Neville a princess of the wealthiest family in the land. Both show they can be cunning in their own right and indeed extremely masterful in their pursuit to become Queen.
A Freesat must-see.
The White Queen, BBC One and BBC One HD Sunday 16th June, 9pm. For more, watch here.
Oh yes, let us not forget to mention that we stumbled across King Edward IV himself (Max Irons). A lovely chap he was too…