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BBC’s The White Queen Episode One Review

July 9, 2013

The BBC have finally graced us with another fantastic historical drama, this time, The White Queen, based on the books The White Queen, The Red Queen and The King Maker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I have read the first two books out of the three but not the final one. I love Philippa Gregory, so when I found out about this series, I was of course excited. I believe the series merges the three books somewhat, but other than this I believe it to be quite true to the books. Philippa Gregory herself said how it was exactly what she had imagined.


Episode one aired on the 16th June, so I know I have a bit of catching up to do on my reviews. Set in the time of the War of the Roses, episode one opens with Elizabeth Woodville begging for lands on behalf of her sons that were lost when her husband died fighting for the Lancastrians. Now, the man she is begging to is Edward, soon to be Edward IV, King of England, he is on the side of York.  Edward is attracted to Elizabeth and within a day is in love with her, and so arranges to marry her in secret. There is some worry over this marriage because only Elizabeth’s mother was there to witness it, so she is unsure whether he will deny the entire thing, but I don’t want to spoil it for everyone, so you will just have to watch it (or know your history).

There are been some fairly bad reviews on the series, the most criticised part of it being that there are modern items in view when filming, so I watched a little bit worried that I wasn’t goingto enjoy it. Yes, there are some modern drainpipes, Victorian clothes pegs and even zips on the costumes, but does that take away from this amazing story that is being told…no, of course not. It may well put some historians off, but it is something that can be looked over, and for those who don’t know much about history, then they probably wouldn’t notice. However, I do think it is a bit of a poor show by the BBC not to have done their research on things like that.


The storyline is of course good, it’s by Philippa Gregory, so how can it not be (you may have noticed by now that I might be a little bit biased) but, it is entertaining, an hour’s episode goes past and you hardly notice. There is a bit of witchcraft involved, and I do love how it is played out. And, of course, the romancing of Edward and Elizabeth is worth watching, how often is it that two medieval people actually got to fall in love?

So, watch it, see what you think, I hope you will enjoy it and look forward to the next episode as I do.

  1. I agree that there should be less emphasis on the historical inaccuracies, such as the zips on show, and more emphasis on the captivating story line. I thought the first episode was brilliantly faithful to the beginning of the novel and really enjoyed it. Episodes 2 and 3 are not so, but it’s bound to be different in an adaptation that aims on dramatisation and catching viewership. I really enjoy your review!

    I have *very* recently set up my own ( and would be interested to know what you think of my review of The White Queen. I’ll be having a good read of the rest of your blog.


    • Thanks for your feedback, I read the books a couple of years ago so I don’t remember exactly how they went. I will have a look at your blog now!

  2. I’ve read The White Queen and absolutely loved it! I live in Australia so can’t watch the BBC adaption yet but hopefully I can get hold of it sometime soon!

    • I hope you are able to watch it soon and it makes it’s way to Australia, it is good (not as good as the book but then they never are!).

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