Last week on The White Princess: Lizzie and her family are brought to London; Lizzie and Henry meet; Elizabeth Woodville puts her plan into motion; Lizzie becomes pregnant, and she and Henry marry.
This week’s episode starts with Henry calling for Lizzie. They have a very tense moment where they almost kiss, and you can just hear the shippers (aka me) going wild in the background. We get to see a bit of courtly action, including; a play, the arrival of the Bishop Morton and the planning of progress, which is essentially a trip around England. For the Yorks, this is a perfect time to rally up supporters and so Lizzie uses Henry’s pride against him to organise a trip to York.
She plans to meet with Francis Lovell, a loyal Yorkist. Aware that her letters are read, Elizabeth Woodville writes a letter to a York loyalist, in which she writes of Lizzie’s loyalty and Henry’s apparent lack of bedroom skills. But that’s not even the best thing she does this episode.
Oh, my mother doesn’t lose. She always finds a way to win. – Cecily
Lady Margaret decides that Lizzie cannot go on progress because of the baby, and instead Elizabeth is to go in her place. However, Elizabeth and three younger girls are tricked into being locked up in a tower. Elizabeth is so desperate that she writes a letter in her own blood for Ned, the stable boy, to pass on to Francis Lovell. Henry, Lady Margaret and their group start their journey.
Lizzie believes that she will be allowed some freedom now the King and his company are gone, but with the public rooms are closed up, Westminster essentially has become a prison. At this moment, Lizzie is under the impression that her mother is away and therefore, asks for her grandmother to visit her. Her grandmother is leaving England for Burgundy, as she is afraid of what the country will become with Tudor’s on the throne.
Meanwhile, Henry arrives in York where Lovell and other rebels lie in waiting. During an assassination attempt, Henry is stabbed in the arm. Lovell manages to escape with the help of a few turncoat soldiers. Henry writes a letter to Lizzie accusing her of the attempt on his life and threatening her mother’s life, but it is only then that she is told that her mother is still in the castle. Lady Margaret plots to offer up Elizabeth as a wife for King James of Scotland.
The ‘sickness’, or the Plague, is now spreading through England and one of the servants dies because from it, along with a number of others. Lizzie is trying to find help for the victims, and ‘steals’ from the treasury to give food and money to those suffering. She threatens to kill herself and her child if the Bishop does not let her see her mother.
It is our royal duty to provide…Unless you plan to hold me down, I shall do it anyway. – Lizzie
Lizzie and Elizabeth are reunited and discuss what’s going on. Elizabeth is positively joyful at the news of sickness passing through England as she sees it as way of being able to further their plot. However, Lizzie is genuinely concerned for the victims and their families. She is beginning to soften towards Henry, as she argues that he doesn’t have to die in order for the York’s to take the throne. She says they can just ‘send him back from where he came’. Elizabeth has, honestly, the sassiest response to this imaginable.
Find a peasant wife in Flanders. Realise that’s what he wanted all along. Maybe take up embroidery. – Elizabeth Woodville
Returning back to Henry in York, his situation isn’t going very well. He is being blamed for the plague, and the people are begging for Teddy, Elizabeth’s little cousin. As a result, Henry has him locked up in the tower.
On their way back to London, townspeople come out to meet Henry and bow to him, thanking him for the money Lizzie distributed. When they reach the palace, Lady Margaret begs for him to punish Lizzie for her actions, but he instead thanks her.
The episode ends with Henry sending his uncle Jasper to the rebel stronghold in Burgundy on a peace convoy, thus separating him and Lady Margaret. Henry feels his unborn baby kick for the first time, but Lady Margaret comes in to ruin the lovely moment by ordering Lizzie into confinement and Henry does not stand up against her.
Overall, I’m actually really happy this episode exists. I wasn’t a big fan of Lizzie in episode one—she seemed kind of bland and cold to me, so it’s good we got to see the caring side of her in this episode. However, while myself and countless others are still waiting for some proper Henry/Lizzie action, I can settle for Essie Davis as sass monster Elizabeth Woodville for now.
The White Princess returns next week with ‘Burgundy’.