The White Princess: When Powerful Females Made History in Tudor England

So will Starz have another hit on its hands? Only time will tell.

Vanity Fair had an exclusive interview with Emma Frost, Jodie Comer, and Michelle Fairley!


Drawn from the novel by Philippa Gregory of the same name and part of The Cousins’ War book series, The White Princess sees England ostensibly united by the marriage of Princess Elizabeth of York, known as Lizzie [Jodie Comer], and King Henry VII [Jacob Collins-Levy], but their personal and political rift runs deep and the divide between them threatens to tear the kingdom apart once again. Vanity Fair Studios interviewed showrunner and executive producer Emma Frost and stars Jodie Comer and Michelle Fairley (Lady Margaret Beaufort) about bringing these intriguing (in every sense of the word) royal figures to life in the eight-part series that premieres Sunday, April 16 at 8pm ET/PT on STARZ.


Emma Frost (Showrunner, Executive Producer, Writer)

How much fun did you have adapting a historical drama where the women are heroes—and in fact have more agency than the men?

“To create a show with female protagonists who are driving all the narrative, from their own point of view is irresistible. In a historical drama, it’s especially exciting because usually women are the chattel—they’re the wives, mistresses, and sex objects. This feels like a real opportunity to chart new ground and reclaim history for the people who were excluded from it.

“And Philippa [Gregory] does a fantastic job of digging into all of this. She’s first and foremost a historian, so she has done the research on who these characters were. The reality is that there’s very little detail about their lives because nobody really recorded it—but that’s liberating. You can join the dots and base it on your own human experience. What would these women have felt? What were their options? And of course I have one eye on history and one eye on what our audience would be engaged and excited by, and what kind of female struggles we identify with. It’s a very high-stakes, operatic drama—the stories are about life, death, betrayal, murder, wars.

“In terms of reclaiming history from the people who were usually excluded from it…when I was writing and researching this, I asked a historical adviser, ‘What would be the situation of people of color in Tudor England?’ and was told there wouldn’t be any at all—it would be an ‘absolute anachronism.’ I got my team to dig and dig and dig, and we found recently researched books that revealed there was a presence of people of color throughout British history. Not many, but they were there. So we included people of color in crowd scenes and one speaking role. It was important for me and the producers.”

We are certainly glad and appreciative that she included people of color. Most historical portrayals act as if no people of color existed during their time period, and we know that was not the case in all instances. ~ Blacklanderz


The White Princess | Official Trailer ~ via STARZ


The White Princess | First Look ~ via STARZ

 


 The White Princess | The Royal Family Tree ~ via STARZ

Who is looking forward to The White Princess?


Jodie Comer as Elizabeth of York

Jason Bell/Starz

Jacob Collins-Levy as King Henry VII

Jason Bell/Starz

Suki Waterhouse as Cecily of York

Jason Bell/Starz

Essie Davis as Dowager Queen Elizabeth Woodville

Jason Bell/Starz

Michelle Fairley as Lady Margaret Beaufort

Jason Bell/Starz

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Disclaimer: We hold no rights to any of the pictures.  No copyright infringement intended. Photos via Vanity Fair.

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