The White Princess: 5 Historical Accuracy (And 5 Historical Inaccuracies)

It’s important to note that the book that inspired the Starz show white princess was historical fiction, which means that, while there are moments of historical truth, the book was also not a biography of Elizabeth of York and is really for fans. Shows that play with historical fiction,

related: The 5 Most (and 5 Least) Historically Accurate TV Shows of All Time, Ranked

Women’s achievements – generally speaking – have not been as well-recorded as men’s achievements throughout Western history, so there is certainly a gray area between accuracy and inaccuracy when viewing a book or show.

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things that are historically accurate in white princess

war of the Roses

Jodie Comer as Elizabeth in The White Princess on the Throne with Henry VII

The Wars of the Roses was a true historical event that took place in England that pitted the family against the family, York against Lancaster. York’s house was white in colour, while Lancaster’s house was red in colour.

Whereas Elizabeth was Princess of York, Henry Tudor was Lancaster, Thus, his symbol was both a red and a white rose, with the white being eaten up by the red.

Elizabeth’s marriage to Henry VII

Historically, the marriage between Elizabeth of York and Henry VII is accurate. They were married after King Henry VII’s bloody victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field. This battle also marked the end of the Wars of the Roses.

Together, Elizabeth and Henry VII were married and ruled from 1486 to 1503. That said, there are some discrepancies as to how this marriage actually played out according to historical findings.

Elizabeth of York’s Appearance

Known to be a blue-eyed blonde beauty, Elizabeth of York boasted of thick, long hair. According to the author, she was also claimed to be “the most beautiful of Edward’s children”. Alison Wear,

related: 10 Hidden Details About the Dress at Tudor You Didn’t Notice

It’s not too surprising when Elizabeth of York’s gene pool is taken into account. Elizabeth of York’s appearance was very similar to that of her mother, Elizabeth Woodville.

King Henry VII’s Paranoia

The blood that Henry VII shed to ascend the English throne and become King of England drove him insane, even going so far as to kill Teddy, the Yorkish Earl of Warwick, who was just There was a boy when he found himself imprisoned.

This paranoia surrounds the reign of King Henry VII and is depicted as one of white princessMore historically accurate aspects.

Teddy’s execution

Due to King Henry’s paranoia, Teddy was killed on the show after being imprisoned as a boy. Unfortunately, this also happened in real life.

There is documented evidence that the last Yorkish Earl of Warwick was executed after spending many years of his life confined to the Tower of London.

Things That Are Historically Wrong With The White Princess

The Love Affair of Elizabeth and Richard III

first episode of the series Elizabeth of York is depicted heartbroken over the loss of her uncle Richard, with many excerpts from a lustful encounter. However, there is not much historical context regarding this matter.

With Richard being Elizabeth’s uncle, it is highly unlikely that the two would have had such a relationship, and somewhat to believe that the two would have become intimate prior to her fatal fight.

Courtesy of Elizabeth of York

This particular aspect of the show is neither accurate nor false, but there was no written documentation for how Elizabeth herself conducts. Jodie Comer, who played Elizabeth, was quoted in an interview Harper’s Bazaar Having said that, because very little was written on the emperor, she used it to her advantage as an actress.

related: Jodi Comer’s 10 Best Movie and TV Roles, Ranked (According to IMDb)

She was able to invent Elizabeth’s show’s depiction of York’s mannerisms and, while this works from a theatrical point of view, it is not something that is rooted in historical fact.

Marriage between Elizabeth of York and Henry VII

As stated earlier, while the marriage between Elizabeth and Henry is accurate, there are creative liberties that the show took to portray the inner workings of their marriage. According to the show, Henry and Elizabeth had a rough start to their union. However, there is no document that shows this enmity.

In fact, the two were married for seventeen years without reports of infidelity. They also had seven children together, and when Elizabeth died after childbirth, the king seemed truly heartbroken. According to what is documented in history, King Henry VII was not as bad a husband as he is portrayed in the show.

Elizabeth of York is a witch

Jodie Comer as Elizabeth in The White Princess

While there was a rumor that the Woodville family practiced magic, they were never documented historically as witches. The show even goes as far as portraying the women of the Woodville family as known witches who are relentlessly practicing magic to make their way to the top of the monarchy of England.

Not so historically, and it is one of the most historically incorrect aspects white princess,


While good efforts have been made with the costumes, they are ultimately wrong from a historical point of view. For example, Elizabeth of York would never have worn clothing that exposed the cleavage.

Along with this, Elizabeth of York also plucked the hair on her head to make her forehead appear wider, which is not shown in this. White Princess.

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