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Imagine the show Toddlers vs Tiaras only this show features the ultimate stage moms pulling the strings of their royal children a few hundred years ago, plus a strained marriage, life and death consequences, and a massively complex family drama and you have The White Princess on Starz!
Intrigued? You should be!
The couple at the middle of this royal family drama are Lizzie and Henry better known in history as Elizabeth of York and King Henry VII. While adapted from Philippa Gregory’s novel of the same name (in the White Queen series) the show veers off a bit to portray Lizzie (and the rest of the women in the show) as a strong woman who despite destiny and politics will be playing the game in the best way she knows how. Helmed by the delightful and powerful Emma Frost, the series will be your new Sunday night obsession.
Last Fall I was lucky enough to be invited to the set of The White Princess in Bristol, England to see the set and chat with the cast of the show plus see the first four episodes and I must say you’re in for a treat. The White Princess fills the hole in our hearts left by so many historical dramas on hiatus. Finally 2017 has something good to offer us!
You can’t read a review or watch much of the trailers without hearing everyone comparing the show as a feminist Game of Thrones which is clearly an obvious choice as George RR Martin, (the author GoT) used the War of the Roses as inspiration for his fantastical story. Well folks, The White Princess is literally ABOUT the War of the Roses and more specifically, the end of the war and how Lizzie (the white rose of York) and Henry (the red rose of Tudor) represent the eventual alliance of the two families and the (supposed) END of that war.
Even with the same initials they are fun, infuriating and magnetic to watch on screen. Their chemistry might rank up there with network-mates Jamie and Claire though just like any show worth it’s salt they have to work at being together, theirs is NOT an instalove. Not that instalove can happen with warring moms, a divided nation, sickness, being locked in towers and the never ending threat of being backstabbed by your own spouse… Not quite the romance you’ll find over on the Scottish moors. BUT you root for Lizzie and Henry to be able to live outside of the dying familial feud and actually find someone who it truly out for their best interest. Oh Jacob is a combo of Sam Hueghan meets Richard Madden which is a-ok in the That’s Normal lexicon of men!
When asked to describe The White Princess in 10 seconds to new viewers, Jacob described it to me (more from our interview coming soon!) as
“Love, kings, queens, trust, women… women mostly!”
Forget the War of the Roses this is the war of the moms… of the roses. And you couldn’t get two more talented and fantastic women to portray the mothers of Lizzie and Henry. Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark in Game of Thrones) and Essie Davis (Lady Crane from Game of Thrones) are two powerhouse women hellbent on protecting their family and using the alliance-marriage of their children to get ahead and perhaps ultimately do away with the other. Their machinations and game playing are fascinating to watch from Davis’ sort of witchy-woman-voodoo take on Dowager Queen Elizabeth to Fairley’s hardline-religious-zealot-upstart, they are two women who have traded stations and standing in the world and are trying their best to preserve their family. They are AMAZING.
If you love historical dramas as much as I do and are sad because you have nothing left after binging shows like The Crown, Victoria, Outlander and Game of Thrones, you will welcome The White Princess. If the first four episodes that I’ve seen are any indication, I can’t wait for the rest of the season.
The White Princess premieres Sunday, April 16th on Starz