The White Queen

Confirmed for BBC One on 23 June at 9.00pm to 10.00pm

Ep 2/10

Sunday 23 June



Elizabeth’s coronation is a grand affair – and not just to silence those who say her marriage to Edward IV is not legal. Once Queen, she and her mother Jacquetta get to work, marrying off her siblings to the nobility to ensure their family’s security, and create a royal family loyal to Edward as he brings peace to England.

The Lancastrians are stripped of their titles. Margaret Beaufort fumes when her son Henry Tudor loses his title; she rages to her second husband Henry Stafford that he must do something about it. But Stafford cannot; York rules England now and Margaret must accept it. Margaret Beaufort’s son Henry has been in her brother in law Jasper’s care since she was married to Stafford, and desperately misses her young son.

Isabel and Anne Neville are also resentful of the Rivers’ family’s rise to power - all the young noblemen have been married off to Elizabeth’s sisters. Worse, Elizabeth has unpicked their father’s control over King Edward IV. Warwick tells his daughters not to worry, he has a plan – he will ask the King for his brothers George and Richard to be married to Isabel and Anne.

Margaret is forced to attend her husband’s nephew Harry Stafford’s wedding to Elizabeth’s sister Katherine – both just young children. Margaret’s mother Lady Beauchamp is always cruel to Margaret, and distraught, she rushes to the chapel to ask God why she must suffer so much pain? It seems that God gives her an answer when Margaret has a vision.

Elizabeth has a daughter, Princess Elizabeth, and two more follow but the longed-for son eludes her.

Warwick captures Henry VI, but is shocked when, despite this great service, Edward still refuses him his brothers in marriage to Isabel and Anne. Elizabeth and Jacquetta gloat, imagining themselves safe from the so-called Kingmaker’s power and malice, but they are wrong. Warwick secretly joins forces with Edward’s brother George - he and Isabel are married.

Isabel is distraught to learn her new husband and her father have declared war on the king: her marriage was a signal to muster to an uprising - she and her sister merely their father’s pawns. Warwick plans to make George king.

Edward IV is furious and it is clear that Edward’s own mother Cecily is in on this rebellion too, the old rumour that Edward is not his father’s son rearing its head again. Warwick and George want Edward to declare his marriage a sham.

Elizabeth attends a state visit to Norwich, while Edward waits for his enemies to attack in Nottingham. But they take him by surprise and Warwick holds him captive. Elizabeth’s brother Anthony arrives with the worst news of all. Their father and brother John are dead: captured and beheaded without charge or trial, simply on the orders of Warwick. Elizabeth is devastated - her passion for Edward has cost her too much.

Margaret Beaufort is jubilant as she hears of Edward’s capture. She visits her young son Henry Tudor at Pembroke Castle, and tells him that he will be king - God has told her in a vision. Stafford is horrified at this treasonous talk. Margaret writes to the king’s brother George and pledges him her support if he will return her son’s title.

By the Thames, at the foot of the Tower of London, Elizabeth swears a curse to see Warwick and Edward’s brother George dead for killing her father and brother...


Elizabeth Woodville – Rebecca Ferguson

Lady Margaret Beaufort – Amanda Hale

Anne Neville – Faye Marsay

Jacquetta Woodville – Janet Mcteer

King Edward IV – Max Irons

Lord Warwick – James Frain

Isabel Neville – Eleanor Tomlinson

Henry Stafford – Michael Maloney

Baron Rivers – Robert Pugh

Jasper Tudor – Tom Mckay

Duchess Cecily – Caroline Goodall

George, Duke Of Clarence – David Oakes

Richard, Duke of Gloucester – Aneurin Barnard

Anthony Rivers – Ben Lamb

Countess of Warwick – Juliet Aubrey

John Rivers – Simon Ginty

Mary Woodville – Eve Ponsonby

Lady Beauchamp – Frances Tomelty

Richard Welles – Hugh Mitchell