So, after I finished “The White Queen” on Amazon video, I, of course, had to continue the story and watch “The White Princess.” This was not the first time I have seen the show, but as a Philippa Gregory fan, I had to watch it again.
My first reaction was that I wish they had kept some of the same cast. I understand that they’re all older, but “Princess” happened right after “Queen.” Like, literally right after. “The White Queen” ends with Richard III dying at the battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor being crowned king. “The White Princess” starts off with Elizabeth of York (Lizzie) finding out that Henry was now king. Now, I understand that making the parents of the main cast older, as they are much older than they were at the start of “The White Queen.” Still, they could have used the same actress for Lizzie and Henry. The only person who was played by the same actress was Lizzie’s grandmother, Duchess Cecily. I know this shouldn’t have bothered me, but it did.
Another thing that bothered me was that Lizzie went from hating Henry to loving him in such a quick fashion. I realize that after a few years you grow to love someone, but Henry had done so many bad things to her. He practically raped her. He locked up her cousin, who was a very innocent, mentally challenged young boy. He even ordered that, when the soldiers went to fetch her at the end of the battle of Bosworth, the soldiers should kill “any boy they find there.” So, he essentially ordered the death of her brother. He also killed Richard III, who was supposedly Lizzie’s love and lover. I don’t understand how she is able to forgive him all of that, let alone love him.
The book goes a little more into Lizzie’s feelings towards Henry. He’s very suspicious about those around him and is always thinking that there is a plot going on. He often accuses Lizzie of conspiring against him, and she resents him for it. While the book does say that they love each other, it seems more plausible to have them dislike each other.
Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing series. It follows the book fairly well, minus the animosity between Lizzie and Henry at times. Lizzie is a very relatable character. I felt very sorry for her, since her mother seemed to care more for her son than she did Lizzie and Lizzie’s children. She was constantly plotting to get Henry off the throne, even though she had married Lizzie to him for her to be queen. I realize that Elizabeth’s son Richard would have been the rightful king, but she is basically plotting against her own daughter in favor of her son. I felt so bad for Lizzie because she is forced into the marriage against her will and then has her mother going against her.
I would have liked to have the series continue until Elizabeth’s death. A big part of the story was the curse that Elizabeth and Lizzie cast upon the people who killed the princes in the tower. It’s revealed that Henry’s mother ordered the deaths, but since the youngest boy, Richard, got away, the curse was not complete. With Henry ordering the death of the “pretender,” who Lizzie believes is her brother, the curse would be completely upon the house of Tudor. The curse said that the male line would die out. Lizzie is constantly telling Henry that they cannot kill the “pretender” because it would be the death of her boys. If the story continued, we would see Lizzie’s reaction to her oldest Arthur’s death, which is part of the fulfillment of the curse. However, the story ended almost abruptly after Lizzie witnessed the death of her cousin Teddy and her supposed brother. It just felt incomplete.
Anyway, don’t think I’m too harsh on this series. Is it as good as “The White Queen”? No, I don’t think so. That seemed to be a more complete story. However, if you watched that, you really should continue the story.
To purchase the season of “The White Princess,” go here.