Who’s ready for a time jump! It’s been at least five years since the events of the previous episode of ‘The White Princess’, and Lady Elizabeth is still scheming. Lizzie is loyal to the crown, but Burgundy and the remaining Yorks sure aren’t — Richard may have resurfaced!
There have been years of peace in England with King Henry (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Queen Lizzie (Jodie Comer) on the throne, but her mother, Lady Elizabeth (Essie Davis), is still seeking revenge. The Duchess of Burgundy (Joanne Whalley) believes the boy who mysteriously arrived at her court five years ago is the missing Richard ( Patrick Gibson ), the York king, and Elizabeth is fueling the desire for a war. Naturally, knowing that there could be a threat to the Tudor monarchy, Henry needs to verify his identity. What if this is just another peasant boy the Duchess plucked from poverty to impersonate Richard? Off to Burgundy it is!
Instead of taking a trip to Burgundy themselves, Lady Margaret (Michelle Fairley) suggests that Maggie (Rebecca Benson) and her husband, Henry Pole (Jamie Sharpe) go in Lizzie and Henry’s place. Maggie is hesitant; despite being her cousin, she’s never met Richard. But her husband says they must go, as it’s their duty to the king. Their son, little Henry (yes, Maggie’s apparently had a child since the last episode) stays behind with Lizzie as they make the journey to Burgundy. There, they’re treated with animosity by the Duchess, who mocks poor nervous Maggie about her order to identify Richard. Her grandmother (Caroline Goodall), however, is living at the court, and welcomes her warmly.
Sweet Maggie is introduced to Richard, who’s happy to see her, and an all-around lovely person. She tries to gauge if he’s lying about his identity by telling anecdotes about their childhood. He confirms they’ve never met personally, but gives details about all of the events. He explains that he was a shy boy, and was watching from the sidelines when Maggie and Teddy cried over losing their father. That actually happened, and it’s clear that Maggie believes he’s really Richard! But she must keep quiet. Her husband says they need to go home and tell the king exactly what he wants to hear.
They return to England, and he brings back with him proof of all the traitors in Henry’s court: a bag of wax seals from all of the people who have sent letters to the Duchess. Obviously, one of them is from Lady Elizabeth. Henry even says so, telling Lizzie “your mother being a traitor is old news.” Duh. Lizzie confronts her mother, who had been released from the abbey at her request, that she’s on Henry’s side for good. Stop trying to take out her husband and (now two) children! Lizzie is in love with Henry, as he’s deeply in love with her. Henry and Lizzie decide to make their son, Henry, the Duke of York as a strategic move; that was Richard’s title before he died (or vanished).
Lady Elizabeth interrupts the ceremony by standing in the balcony and telling Henry that his kingdom will be overthrown. Lizzie tells guards to remove her; she’s ruined her grandson’s day, and she’s no longer her mother! Meanwhile, elsewhere in the castle, Teddy (Albert De jongh) is still held prisoner in the tower, no a teenager who has gone mad from his isolation. Maggie and her family bring him presents and try to console him, but it’s fruitless. They’ll never be together again.
Lady Margaret is having a breakdown after being reminded by Lady Elizabeth, yet again, that she has blood on her hands from killing her sons. Margaret is caught in the chapel trying to pray away her sins by her true love, Jasper Tudor (Vincent Regan), and confesses all to him. Jasper is disgusted; he didn’t know that it was Margaret herself who ordered the killings. He vows to tell Henry everything, even though it will “crush him” knowing what his mother’s done.
So…Margaret straight up murders him and makes it look like he died of illness. Henry is devastated, rushing to his side and sobbing hysterically. Jasper was the only person he had for years. And now he’s surrounded by people who may or may not be traitors. Margaret can hide what happened to Lizzie’s brothers, but she cannot escape this sin. It’s only a matter of time before Henry finds out.
The White Princess airs on STARZ Sunday nights at 8:00pm.
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