Jacquetta Woodville

Played by Janet McTeer

Fact titleFact data
Traditionally Lancaster, but switches to York.

Jacquetta was the daughter of Count Peter of Luxembourg. When she was 17 she married John of Lancaster, Henry V’s brother. He died two years later and the marriage was childless.

Sir Richard Woodville was John’s chamberlain and accompanied the young widow back to England from Normandy. On the voyage they fell in love and were married in secret. This caused a huge scandal at the time, as Richard was a commoner. They were fined £1000 as they had not sought permission from King Henry VI.

Richard was later made Baron Rivers and helped Henry VI in his battles against the York claimants to the throne. They had 14 children including Elizabeth Woodville.

Although Jacquetta supports, and is related to, the Lancastrian King Henry she recognises the importance of staying on the side of power. She encourages and aids Elizabeth’s relationship with Edward, while hiding it from her husband.

Now that her daughter is married to the King, she is using her position in court to get good marriages for all her children.

Jacquetta suffers a personal tragedy when her beloved husband and her son Richard are executed by Warwick. She aids Elizabeth in placing a curse on Warwick and his accomplice George. However she continues to be diplomatic when the Warwick family returns to court.

She remains Elizabeth's closest confidant until her death, leaving Elizabeth heartbroken and alone.