The White Queen Review 1 | Birth of a Max Irons Fan Girl

Monday, 17 June 2013
Last night the first episode of BBC's The White Queen, 'In Love with the King' aired on BBC One. The ten-part drama series in based on Philippa Gregory's series of novels known collectively as The Cousins' War which includes The White Queen, The Red Queen, and The Kingmaker's Daughter. The Cousins' War series is set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses, a long and bloody dispute for the English throne between the Houses of York (white rose) and Lancaster (red rose).

The White Queen

Last night we were introduced to Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson), a commoner by birth and widowed by the war. The story begins with her beseeching the newly crowned Edward IV (Max Irons) that her husband's lands be returned to her. Edward IV is struck by her beauty and seeks to make her his mistress to which she refuses although she is attracted to him. I mean obviously, he's sexy and he's the king.. but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Spoiler Alert: In the end Edward IV can take the anguish of being apart from her no longer and makes her his bride. This of course causes great uproar in the royal court because of her humble status and the fact that her family are from the House of Lancaster, although they do switch sides to York, which causes still further uproar.

I don't want to spoil the whole story for you and if you haven't seen the first episode already I urge you to watch it on BBC's iPlayer. Sorry America, it looks like you'll have to wait until 10 August to get your chance to see it on Starz. However here is a recap of the 5 best bits of last nights episode of The White Queen. Also known as the 5 top things you missed out on if you were unfortunate enough to not watch it!

5. The cleanliest 1464 that has ever existed. Let's be honest the 15th century wasn't known for being clean, most people didn't have a dental hygienist and indoor plumbing had yet to be invented. So the fact that all the actors had perfect complexions, waxed eyebrows and aren't surrounded by their own filth is not exactly realistic. However I say to hell with realism, give me a well groomed 15th century any day!

4. A lack of Yorkshire/Lancashire accents. Now I wasn't expecting every one to sound like they were from Lancashire or Yorkshire, but I did expect one or two to have a Northern accent.  With the BBC always striving to be politically correct I expected some Northern accents or at least some horribly put on Lancashire/Yorkshire accents I could make fun of. It seems that although a majority of the cast is British, with some exceptions, it appears no one from the North was up to scratch.

3. A Swedish woman is playing the Queen of England. Like I said, there are a few exceptions to the British cast, the most noteworthy is Rebecca Ferguson, a Swedish actress, playing the role of Elizabeth Woodville. I don't have anything against the Swedes, I mean they gave us IKEA with all it's flat-packed furniture. However, I would like a Queen of England to perhaps have not such a thick Swedish accent next time. It's hard to take her seriously when sometimes you just find yourself thinking about her eating Swedish meatballs and giggling.

Rebecca Ferguson as Elizabeth Woodville

2. The mother-in-law from hell. You think your mother-in-law is bad? I can guarantee she is nothing compared to Lady Cecily, Duchess of York and mother of Edward IV.  She greets her new daughter-in-law by exclaiming "I am not happy about this marriage." Lady Cecily then goes as far as telling Elizabeth she was disown her own son to put a stop to their marriage. Not exactly a warm welcome to the family moment.

#TheWhiteQueen Quote

And last but certainly not least, the number one best part of last night's The White Queen is...

Max Irons as King Edward IV

1. Max Irons, son of Jeremy Irons, stars as the Yorkist King Edward IV. I swear you could hear the collective sighs of a nation when he walked on the screen. Remember when Twilight was all the craze and everyone was screaming "I'm Team Jacob!" "I'm Team Edward!" and I wept for today's youth. Well move over Twilight there is a NEW Team Edward in town and this is a Team Edward I am HAPPY to get on board of. When he said "Please let me send my page boy for you tonight" I couldn't stop myself from shouting at the screen, "Send your page boy to me!" even though I was watching The White Queen with my husband. There was some serious drooling going on last night in my house. I think I watched every moment Max Irons was on screen with my mouth open. Fingers crossed The White Queen becomes a bit more like The Tudors, because I could use some Max Irons nude scenes. (Sorry Luke I love you, but Max Irons might be my new pass.)

Q: What did you think of The White Queen? Am I justified in my Max Irons fan-girldom?

Erin x

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  1. Leah Budke said...:

    Haha! What an entertaining review. Thanks for all the fun facts! :) We watched it last night, too. I had to laugh a big when I noticed in the first scene that Elizabeth's hair seemed to be crimped. Apparently they had crimpers in the 15th century, too? I don't believe I've ever seen crimped hair as a natural hairstyle... Probably going to watch it next week as well despite the unrealistic hairstyles.

  1. Erin Moran said...:

    I'm glad you enjoyed it Leah! I thought about you when I was watching it because I remembered you said one of the castles was the castle in Ghent. I was trying to figure out which one. As if it'd be signposted!

    Next weeks episode it's actually revealed that Elizabeth is a time traveller from the 1980s, hence her crimped 'do!

    Erin x

  1. Leah Budke said...:

    Ha, well that really clears up some of my confusion... but then also creates some more. I guess I really will have to make a point of watching. I'm intrigued now. Oh, and I'm not sure they've shown the Ghent castle, yet. At least, I haven't seen any posts about anyone recognizing it yet. A lot of Belgians are watching closely for familiar scenery. :)

  1. Erin Moran said...:

    Yes it seems the Belgians are quite pleased by it being shot in Belgium. They were only too happy to remark that a couple of the actors are Belgian.

    Erin x

  1. Bonnie Rose said...:

    I loved your 5, 4, and 3 comments because those are things I always pick up when watching historical pieces...of course if I watch anything with the military you will hear me tearing that apart as a military child and former military wife. Curious about this show from seeing your tweets i watched it. Looks interesting...will be watching for a while at least.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  1. Erin Moran said...:

    I'm glad I inspired you to watch it, and more importantly that you liked it. I think after Jane Austen I might have to read some of Philippa Gregory.

    Erin x

  1. Ilse van hove said...:

    Hi, I'm from Belgian, I live near Antwerp and I did indeed enjoy myself looking for where they shot in Ghent and Bruges. I was happy to recognise several places. The Gravensteen Castle was very recognisable.
    And yes, we were proud to have several Belgian actors in the cast :-)

    I recently bought the DVD box, and I have not yet finished watching the entire series, but I knew that Veerle Baetens, an actress well known over here, had a part in it, but I did not know who she was playing.
    I checked as I could not find her and started thinking she would be just a figurant. Imagine my surprise: she played Margaret of Anjou.... and I hadn't recognised her at all... shame on me.

    So tonight I'm going to enjoy another episode (Poison and Malsmey) when I get home from work.

    Oh and when I first saw Jacquetta, I cried out the same thing: Princess Leia is back !!!

    Ps: sorry if my English is not always that good, it's not my first language as I'm Flemish :-)


  1. Thanks for your comment Ilse, your English is just fine! I'm glad you're enjoying The White Queen and I've had that happen to me before with actors. If you're not expecting them to be a certain character and then you realise they are you feel just silly!

    Erin x

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