Philippa Gregory’s book The White Princess has come to the screen via Starz in April, 2017.  As with The White Queen, figures in the series are taken from history, with considerable fictionalizing.

Here are some of the biographies of the real women behind Gregory’s characters, women in the life of Elizabeth of York, all important parts of the history of the Wars of the Roses and then the early Tudor dynasty. You’re invited to compare and contrast their stories on-screen and in the books.

Women Characters in The White Princess

  • Elizabeth of York, daughter of King Edward IV and his queen, Elizabeth Woodville. The Princess Elizabeth married Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and was mother of Henry VIII, his older brother Arthur, and his sisters Margaret Tudor and Mary Tudor.
  • Elizabeth Woodville, the Queen’s mother, whose marriage to Edward IV was opposed by the Earl of Warwick and whose marriage was questioned by Richard III. She was the daughter of Jacquetta of Luxembourg.
  • Margaret Beaufort, the King’s mother, the “Red Queen” to Elizabeth Woodville’s White Queen.  Margaret Beaufort, married to Edmund Tudor when she was 12, gave birth to Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII. She supported her son in the Wars of the Roses.
  • Cecily, Duchess of York, or Cecily Woodville, the Queen’s grandmother.
  • Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, the Queen’s paternal aunt. This sister of Edward IV was a friend of Elizabeth Woodville. After she married Maximilian of Habsburg, Duke of Burgundy, and moved to the continent, she opened her home to the Yorkists in exile.
  • Margaret Pole, called Margaret Plantagenet, the Queen’s cousin: daughter of Isabella Neville and George, Duke of Clarence, Margaret could be considered an heir of Edward IV, after her brother, Edward.

Elizabeth of York’s Sisters

  • Mary of York, also called Mary Plantagenetge 15, and was not married.
  • Cecily of York, also called Catherine Plantagenet
  • Anne of York, also called Anne Plantagenet
  • Catherine of York, also called Catherine Plantagenet
  • Bridget of York, also called Bridget Plantagenet