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The Real White Queen and Her Rivals

Episode 2

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC Two HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Author Philippa Gregory tells the interweaving stories of the women who were decisive figures in the Wars of the Roses. Gregory brings a rich story of intrigue, betrayal, love and bloodshed vividly to life. For Gregory, these women matter as much as the kings and nobles in this age of instability and dynastic feud.

She describes the lives of Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen, a commoner whose beauty enchanted a king and who suffered shocking tragedy as she struggled to hold a grip on the throne for herself and for her children.

Gregory also brings to life the woman who would be queen to Richard III, the heiress Anne Neville. Gregory depicts a young woman born into power and privilege who survives traumatic losses to become queen. We see her grow from a political pawn of her noble father to a determined and canny player on the national stage.

Gregory also reveals the real character of Margaret Beaufort, mother of the Tudor dynasty. This extraordinary woman devotes her life to the cause of her son Henry Tudor and plays a cunning game of alliance and conspiracy to keep his claim to the throne of England alive. She is never queen, but ends the era more powerful than Queen Elizabeth or Queen Anne. Her brilliant strategic plotting steers her exiled son to the pinnacle of power. Show less

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