Can One Marriage Unite a Kingdom on The White Princess?
Starz’s highly anticipated new series, The White Princess, is drawn from the novel of the same name by Philippa Gregory. The series takes place in one of the most tumultuous times in British history and uniquely from the point of view of the women. It follows a the tempestuous marriage between Elizabeth of York (Lizzie) and King Henry VII, which marks the conclusion of The War of the Roses. But the real battle for the throne is far from over. The White Princess is a tale of power,family, love and betrayal, Check out the official cast portraits and characterize descriptions below
ELIZABETH OF YORK (AKA LIZZIE) played by Jodie Comer
Princess Elizabeth of York (aka Lizzie) is promised in marriage to the newly anointed King Henry VII, in hopes that it will unite the Houses of York and Tudor and bring an end to “The Wars of Roses.” Daughter of King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth, “The White Queen,” Lizzie is beautiful, warm and kind – a princess to her very core. Lizzie knows her duty and is publicly loyal to her husband, playing the part of wife, and eventually queen, faultlessly. In private, though, she resents and plots against him. If they could only transcend their mutual mistrust and historical hatred, their marriage could bear fruit. Or perhaps they could destroy each other, and in doing so, plunge England straight back into bloody war.
KING HENRY VII played by Jacob Collins-Levy
Despite his mother Lady Margaret’s fervent faith, Henry Tudor never thought he’d become the King of England; but after winning the Battle of Bosworth that’s exactly where he finds himself. He’s deeply mistrustful of women, but the only way to secure his reign is to marry Princess Elizabeth of York (Lizzie), thereby ending “The Wars of the Roses” and bringing peace back to England. Once married, King Henry finds himself increasingly caught between the two women in his life, his wife and his mother, who treat him as a battleground. Matching wits and wills, Lizzie and Margaret maneuver to gain King Henry’s favor, which they know determines the future of England, their own fates, and the fates of the ones they love.
MARGARET PLANTAGENET (AKA MAGGIE played by Rebecca Benson
In contrast to the tall, elegant, beautiful, blond gaggle of York girls, their cousin Margaret Plantagenet (aka Maggie) is small, dark-haired and serious. Maggie doesn’t want the limelight associated with being a York. In fact, Maggie wishes to be “invisible,” along with her younger brother, Teddy, the Earl of Warwick, because Teddy’s position as a York heir places him in grave danger in this brutal Tudor world. Maggie and Teddy have already lost their parents (under King Edward IV) and all that they have left is each other. Maggie and her cousin Lizzie are close, and Maggie hopes that Lizzie’s new position as the Queen of England might protect him. But when Teddy’s life comes under threat, so will Maggie’s relationship with Lizzie.
CECILY OF YORK (Suki Waterhouse)
Three years younger than her sister Lizzie, Cecily feels forever in her shadow and would like nothing more than to marry a king herself. Cecily acutely feels the fear of living in a Tudor court and her loyalty to the House of York comes under question. Cecily may yet turn out to be the turncoat in the family as she battles for survival and her own advancement.
THE DUCHESS OF BURGUNDY played by Joanne Whalley
Sister to dead kings Richard III and Edward IV of England, and sister-in-law to Dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville, sensual, intelligent York widow The Duchess of Burgundy presides over her fashionable and cultured court – a place of beauty, light and learning. Her life has been filled with loss. The Cousin’s War has claimed the lives of her father, her brothers and her husband, Charles the Bold. Her step-daughter Mary, and Mary’s two children Phillip and Rettie are the center of her world and the Duchess would do anything to protect them. The Duchess craves peace, but with King Henry VII on the throne of England all hope of that is shattered … and she must choose a side.
DOWAGER QUEEN ELIZABETH WOODVILLE played by Essie Davis
Dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville must now step aside as her cherished eldest daughter, Lizzie, takes both center stage and the crown, in this dangerous and swiftly changing Tudor landscape. Elizabeth is an indomitable political strategist and her commitment to the York cause – and the boy whom she believes to be her last remaining son, Prince Richard – never wavers. Elizabeth tries to transfer her ambition to her daughter, but is distracted with the search for answers about her missing son. As Elizabeth’s blood feud with Lady Margaret intensifies, she is deeply pained to find herself increasingly in conflict with Lizzie, whose welfare and future becomes quickly entwined with the fate of the House of Tudor.
LADY MARGARET BEAUFORT played by Michelle Fairley
Lady Margaret Beaufort, King Henry VII’s mother, is the calculating mastermind behind Henry’s ascent. She has sacrificed her whole life to propel her son’s unlikely accession to the Throne of England, but now that they’re at court together, she realizes they barely know one another. Desperate for intimacy with her son, she installs herself as King Henry’s chief political advisor, but Lizzie’s arrival at court threatens the balance of power. Margaret knows that securing the throne for the Tudor line won’t be easy, and works to fortify King Henry’s rule as York rivals plot against them. As her counsel is tested, she finds herself increasingly drawn into a battle with Lizzie for King Henry’s heart and mind.
JASPER TUDOR played by Vincent Regan
When Henry Tudor took the field at the Battle of Bosworth, he had his uncle, confidante and right hand man by his side to help him claim his victory. Jasper Tudor is a brilliant commander of armies and a moral man whose utter loyalty to his nephew is rare and very moving. Jasper’s life has been hard and lonely, and his secret, unconsummated love for King Henry’s mother, Lady Margaret, is returned by her but has never been allowed open expression. Perhaps now that war is over, Jasper might find love and companionship in his twilight years. Or perhaps he might find darkness in the people he has loved.
‘THE BOY’ AKA PRINCE RICHARD AKA PERKIN WARBECK played by Patrick Gibson
‘The Boy’ aka Prince Richard aka Perkin Warbeck is a young man who threatens to rupture the tentative peace bought on by the marriage of Elizabeth of York (Lizzie) and King Henry VII, by claiming to be Prince Richard of York, rightful heir to the throne and Lizzie’s long lost brother. Married to Cathy Gordon, cousin to King James IV of Scotland in a politically motivated relationship that buds into a true romance, ‘The Boy’ finds support in the courts of Europe, giving new hope to a group of York loyalists led by The Duchess of
Burgundy and the Dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville.
EDWARD PLANTAGENET, THE EARL OF WARWICK (AKA TEDDY) played by Rhys Connah
Edward Plantagenet (aka Teddy), the Earl of Warwick, is just 10 years old when Henry Tudor defeats York King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth and takes the throne of England for himself. Teddy is a gentle and not very bright boy, and is unaware of what his older sister Maggie knows only too well: that as a royal York boy, Teddy has a claim to the throne himself and will be forever regarded as a threat by King Henry VII. Their parents dead, Teddy has only Maggie to protect him in this increasingly paranoid and dangerous Tudor world.
BISHOP MORTON played by Kenneth Cranham
Bishop Morton is a cunning politician and schemer as much as he is a man of God. He served at court under Lizzie’s father, King Edward IV, but had a falling out with King Richard III and went into exile. He now returns to court as a valued and important member of King Henry’s Privy Council. Morton and Lady Margaret are very close as both share their devotion to God … but as the pressure mounts, the dark undertones of their bond will be revealed.