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The White Princess - Hearts and Minds - Burgundy - Reviews: “Troublesome Crowns”

For the past two weeks, King Henry VII and I have had a lot in common, we've both had trouble with our crowns. While in the most recent episodes Henry struggles with his new bride and solidifying his hold on his crown, I, unfortunately, lost mine and had to deal with a painful extraction. As consequence, I fell behind in my duties reviewing the show.By way of apologizing for my unexpected absence, I bring you a double review of the most recent two episodes of The White Princess - Hearts and Minds (1x02) and Burgundy (1x03).


The struggle for the battle to rule England may be over on the battlefield, however, the war rages on as Henry (Jacob Collins-Levy) begins his reign as king. Throughout this episode, the skirmishes continue both physically and psychologically.

Henry is to take a tour through the country, a Royal Progress, asserting his newly gained power over his people. In a remarkably easy fashion Lizzie (Jamie Comer) uses his insecurity to trick him into traveling through York. It is in York that she, as her mother the Dowager Queen Elizabeth (Essie Davis) has told her, they can rally York supporters.

However, Henry's mother, Lady Margaret (Michelle Fairly) is one step ahead of them. First, she nixes Lizzie from going with him by saying that rumors of a spreading sickness would be a threat to her and her unborn child. Then is a masterful stroke tricks Lizzie into believing her mother would be taking her place on the trip. After seeing to it Lizzie is made a virtual prisoner in her rooms in the palace, Lady Margaret has her mother imprisoned in Westminster Palace.

Lizzie and Henry both begin to doubt the counsel and guidance their warring mothers are giving them. Lizzie lashes out at her mother after learning of an assassination attempt, organized by her mother, on her husband on his journey to York. She was willing to sow dissent but she did not want her husband killed. Henry is equally disturbed to find that not only did his mother lie to him about the sickness that is now plaguing the country, a sickness being called a curse from God because Henry is king, but he believes she is developing an unhealthy attraction to his uncle, Jasper Tudor (Vincent Regan).

Seeing that his country is still divided, a dejected Henry returns home, only to be surprised by the reception of grateful subjects. It seems in his absence and after learning of sickness, Lizzie has defiantly stood up to Bishop Morton (Kenneth Cranham) left in charge of her in the king's absence and broken into the Royal Treasury and given the funds there to the people to help them.

Once again intrigued by his bride, Henry tells her she knows just what to do to make the people love her. She tells him he reaps what he sows if he rules with kindness he gets loyalty in return. She tells him he could start by freeing her young, mentally challenged cousin, Teddy from the Tower of London. He tells her he will consider it. It seems the young king and queen have formed a tentative bond.

Just as Henry and Lizzie are growing into their roles as the King and his bride, Jamie Comer and especially Jacob Collins-Levy are growing in their performances. Comer shines in the moments where her Lizzie shows her spirit, her determination and her heart in trying to get help for the people afflicted with the sickness. Collins-Levy is giving his Henry many layers, at the surface a seemingly hard ruler, but capable of showing tenderness toward Lizzie.

However, as in the pilot episode, it is Michelle Fairley and Essie Davis who command our attention as Lady Margaret and the Dowager Queen Elizabeth, matching wits and doing waging their own psychological war to keep their children in power.


This series begins to hit its stride with the third outing, Burgundy, an episode focused on life and death both in literal and figurative form. The life comes in the form of the birth of the new prince, Arthur and the beginning of a new alliance between Henry (Jacob Collins-Levy) and Lizzie (Jamie Comer). The strongest evidence you see of Henry's growing attraction to the mother of his child and his willingness to compromise is when he shows Lizzie the badge he has had commissioned for their son, a combination of the red and white roses of that symbolize the union of both their houses.

Following Arthur's birth, Henry's mother, Lady Margaret (Michelle Fairley-who continues to standout episode after episode) urges him to take the child to Winchester to be christened, without Lizzie. When he tells her he will seek the counsel of his wife in the matter, it is the first clear sign of the influence Lizzie is beginning to have over him and another instance of him openly defying his mother's counsel.

Lizzie's mother, the Dowager Queen Elizabeth (Essie Davis) will accompany the child to the christening. As they depart you can see the almost physical tug-of-war between the Dowager Queen and Lady Margaret as the hand the young prince, their grandchild, to one another.

Once in Winchester, Lady Margaret reasserts her authority by showing Henry proof that the Dowager Queen was behind the assassination attempt on him in York. Henry has his mother in law thrown into a dungeon but is later persuaded by a distraught Lizzie that if she is to be separated from her mother and her mother is to be imprisoned at least send her to an Abbey. Henry relents and the Dowager Queen and her young daughters are exiled to Bermondsey Abbey.

Yet, even though exiled, the Dowager Queen still finds a way to communicate with her daughter and still urges her to stir dissent in the kingdom. However, like Henry, Lizzie is developing a mind of her on and defies her mother, choosing to fight that battle in her own way. This does not sit well with Lizzie's mother, especially after learning that her other daughter Cecily (Suki Waterhouse) has become betrothed to another member of the House of Tudor. Her hatred for the Tudors grows as she now believes they have taken not only her sons but her daughters as well.

Lizzie is crowned Queen and in a wonderful scene, she and Henry find a common bond of wondering what their lives would have been like had their mothers not determined their fates at birth. They ask, what have they done to us?

Also in this episode, Henry has sent Jasper Tudor to Burgundy as an envoy of peace with the Duchess of Burgundy (Lizzie's paternal aunt). He also sent Jasper, so as to show his mother, who was in charge. In France, Jasper appears to be making in-roads with the Duchess until his companion, Lord Strange (Nicholas Audsley) is indirectly responsible for a tragic accident that damages all the progress he had made.

Which episode of The White Princess has been your favorite so far? Do you think Lizzie and Henry are growing to care for one another? Discuss in the comments below.


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