The White Queen (2013)

 

 

 

Director:     Colin Teague, James Kent, Jamie Payne.

Starring:      Rebecca Ferguson (Queen Elizabeth), Amanda Hale (Lady Margaret Beaufort), Aneurin Barnard (Richard Duke of Gloucester), Faye Marsay (Anne Neville), David Oakes (George Duke of Clarence), Max Irons (King Edward), Ben Lamb (Anthony Rivers), Tom McKay (Jasper Tudor), Eleanor Tomlinson (Isabel Neville), Janet McTeer (Jacquetta Woodville), Juliet Aubrey (Countess of Warwick), Caroline Goodall (Duchess Cicely), James Frain (Lord Warwick), Eve Ponsonby (Mary Woodville), Michael Maloney (Henry Stafford), Rupert Graves (Lord Thomas Stanley), David Shelley (King Henry VI).

romance between Lancastrian commoner Elizabeth Woodville and Yorkist King Edward IV (1461-1470 and 1471-1483); they married 1464

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

Elizabeth awakens her two sons, Thomas and Richard Grey.  They are going to meet the new York king, King Edward IV.   They walk over to the dirt road.  Edward stops his troops.  He gets off his horse and goes over to Elizabeth.  She introduces herself as Lady Elizabeth Grey.  She explains that her lands were taken from her following the death of her husband Lord Grey (who was a cavalry leader of the Lancastrian cavalry).  She wants to get her lands back. The King's cousin, the Earl of Warwick, tries to discourage Edward from going with the Lady Elizabeth. Edward goes with her anyway. 

He tells Elizabeth that there will be at least one more battle.  He will keep the battle from her front yard.  He tells her to write down her land claims and he will come back to see her.

Elizabeth's mother takes her to a river.  She has three threads tied to a tree.  She tells Elizabeth to choose a thread.  Then mother cuts the chose thread.  Cut away were the things Elizabeth will not do or fail to do.  Another thread represents Elizabeth's future.

Edward returns to see Elizabeth.  Her father and brothers come into the room.  Her mother is also in the room.  Dad introduces Elizabeth's two sons to the King.  There is bad blood between the men because both sides have lost close relatives to the civil war, the War of the Roses.  Edward takes Elizabeth to the garden to talk with her in private.  Elizabeth says she cannot be his mistress. 

Dad says that the King is an infamous lecher, screwing many of the wives of his court.  He brother John tells her not to sell herself too cheaply and she says she doe not intend to sell herself at all.

The next morning Elizabeth waits for the King.  He wants to have sex with her, but she keeps pushing him away.  She finally pulls out a knife and puts it to her own throat, saying she will slit her own throat if he still tries to force himself upon her.  She says she will not be his mistress.  He tells her that she has humiliated him. He says:  "You will never see me again."  He rides away. Elizabeth starts crying. 

Her mother tells her that she cannot fall in love with a York King, unless there is something in it for her own future.

Elizabeth pulls in her string and finds a wedding ring in the shape of a crown. 

Her father and brothers now have to fight for the Yorkists.  Mother says the family will be Yorkists if Edward is triumphant in battle. 

Edward comes by Elizabeth's home.  The family is wearing white roses, symbol of the Yorkists.  (The Lancasters wear red roses.)

Edward speaks with Elizabeth.  He says he has to have her and, if she will not be his mistress, she must marry him.  He asks her to marry him tomorrow morning.  Elizabeth says yes. 

Early next morning Elizabeth, accompanied by her mother, gets married in the local church to King Edward IV.   They have their honeymoon in a hunting lodge prepared by her mother for them.  (There are several scenes of brief nudity that follow.) 

The next morning Edward has to go from his new bride.  He tells her that if he shall not come back to keep the marriage a secret for her own sake.

John accuses her of being a mistress to the King, but Elizabeth says she and Edmund are now married.  John says it's all a sham marriage -- a pretend wedding service.  He has done this often before and has a bastard son.  Elizabeth insists that John is wrong. 

Lancaster forces are defeated again.  Dad says this war will never be over. 

Edward returns to Elizabeth following the battle.  They hug and kiss.  (Brief nudity,)

Warwick wants the King to marry Princess Bonnar of France.  This worries Elizabeth because she thinks Warwick might pressure Edward into a royal marriage.

At the meeting of the court, Edward says to everyone that he is married to Lady Elizabeth Grey.  Warwick is furious with the King, but can do nothing.

Elizabeth learns the news by courier.  She and her family go to the coronation of Elizabeth as Queen of England. 

Mother and Elizabeth go to meet Elizabeth's mother-in-law, Duchess Cecily, who is not at all happy about the marriage.  She also says that Elizabeth can never be royal.  Mom and daughter both stand up to mother-in-law.  Mom is especially good at showing the mother-in-law that she had made a cuckold of her husband and is now saying that he son Edward is a bastard.  Mother-in-law has to back down from her threat of making her younger son the king. 

In their bedroom Elizabeth tells her husband that she is much afraid of Warwick.  Her husband urges her to try and get along with Warwick for he is an important man. 

 

 

 

 

 


Historical Background:

 

c. 1437 --  Elizabeth Woodville is born in Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire to a knight.

c. 1452  -- Elizabeth Woodville marries Sir John Grey of Groby.

1461 --      Elizabeth's husband is killed at the Second Battle of St Albans fighting for the Lancastrian cause.  Elizabeth had two sons from this first marriage: Thomas (later Marquess of Dorset) and Richard.

1464  --  Edward IV had many mistresses, the most notorious being Jane Shore. He marries the widowed Lady Grey secretly at her family home in Northamptonshire.

1465  --  Edward IV leads the Yorkists in an overwhelming victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton.

1465 (May 26)  --  Elizabeth is crowned Queen on Ascension Day

 

 

 

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