Starz and the BBC Give Us a First Glimpse of The White Queen

Men Go to Battle; Women Wage War.

Or at least so says the tagline for the upcoming ten-part drama series The White Queen, which is set to retell the story of the Wars of the Roses through the eyes of the women caught up in the conflict over the English throne. 

Based on a series of novels by best-selling author Philippa Gregory, the drama will follow the ongoing struggles between the Lancasters and the Plantagenets, beginning with Edward Plantagenet’s victory over Margaret of Anjou, which brought the crown and the throne under the control of the House of York.

Three particularly powerful ladies are at the center will be at the center of this adaptation – Elizabeth Woodville, the titular White Queen and wife of King Edward IV, Margaret Beaufort, mother of the man who would become King Henry VII, and Ann Neville, the daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker and eventual wife of King Richard III.  In addition to a strong female focus, expect a lot of romance, betrayal, double crossing, bribery and murder in this story.  Several of these women were gossiped about as witches. One of these men was probably a regicide and history accuses another of child murder. These families are not exactly nice people, but, man, their story is great. 

(Historical fiction is one of my personal secret guilty pleasures, and I’ve read all the books in this series – I can vouch for the fact that they’re pretty entertaining. Of course, given that this actual history is pretty entertaining, it’s hard to go wrong with this story.)

Premium cable network Starz has picked up the BBC  drama for American broadcast and released the first teaser trailer for the new series. You can absolutely tell that this is a Starz-produced trailer since its primary focus seems to be how attractive everyone is and how frequently the problems faced by the Houses of York and Lancaster seem to center around romantic entanglements.  There’s a lot more to this complicated story, which hopefully we’ll actually get to see in a later trailer at some point. (It seems safe to assume this teaser is a bit misleading!) 

White Queen Max Irons Teaser_STARZ

Max Irons, who you may recognize from his recent role in teen alien romance film (yes, really) The Host, stars as King Edward IV, alongside David Oakes as his brother George, Duke of Clarence, and Aneurin Barnard as Richard, Duke of Gloucester.  They are joined by Rebecca Ferguson (Elizabeth), Faye Marsey (Anne), Amanda Hale (Margaret), Janet McTeer (Jacquetta) and James Frain (Richard Neville) among many others.  

The White Queen is slated to air on Starz this August. Thoughts? Does it look like the sort of costume drama you’d like to watch? Or do you prefer your fancy dress to have a bit more of an Edwardian slant?