History buffs know that keeping track of everyone involved in the English monarchy’s War of the Roses can be a tricky task. Luckily, for the upcoming limited series “The White Princess,” Starz has created a family tree featurette and website to help viewers keep everyone straight.
In Screener’s exclusive sneak peek, the story begins in 1485 with the warring houses of Lancaster and York. The York family’s King Richard III is killed in battle by Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy), the first Tudor family monarch. Henry was a descendant of the Lancasters through his mother, Margaret Beaufort (Michelle Fairley) — a severe woman who always believed it was God’s will that her son be the king of England.
In an effort to unite the Lancaster and York families, Margaret joins forces with York monarch Elizabeth Woodville (Essie Davis), who was the subject of Starz’s previous miniseries “The White Queen,” which ended with Henry VII’s being crowned king of England. The two mothers arrange for Henry to marry Elizabeth’s daughter, Elizabeth of York (Jodie Comer) — called Lizzie so as to avoid confusion with her mother who shared the same first name — who was known as the white princess.
Lizzie wanted no part in the marriage, having always hoped to marry a man for love. There were rumors that said man was her uncle, Richard III, but there was never any substantiated evidence of their involvement with one another.
Meanwhile, Henry has his hands full with other claimants to the throne — Lizzie’s cousin Teddy (Rhys Connah) and supposedly dead brother Richard (Patrick Gibson), one of the “princes in the tower,” who reappears claiming to have been in hiding all this time. But is he the real Richard?
And that is where the story of “The White Princess” begins, with Henry and Lizzie’s marriage, as they battle threats from all sides amidst reluctantly trying to start a life together.
You can learn more about the Yorks and the Lancasters at Starz’s interactive family tree website, where you can also enter the “Live Like a Royal” sweepstakes, which will send one lucky winner on a trip for two to New York City to live like a royal for two days.
“The White Princess” premieres Sunday, April 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.