The White Queen, a TV adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s historical fiction novel of the same name, premiered on the Starz network on Saturday evening.

Rebecca Ferguson plays the title character, formally known as Elizabeth Grey nee Woodville, while Jeremy Irons' son Max Irons plays opposite her as King Edward the IV. In the loosely historical series, King Edward IV contemplates putting his realm at risk to wed the commoner he’s fallen in love with.

As is now expected of series that air on premium networks, The White Queen pushes the limits of bloodshed and clothes shedding. Given its historical context, it’s also bound to be rife with royal scandal and intrigue.


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During the premiere, King Edward IV is travelling down a road when he’s approached by the bold Elizabeth, who is seeking to recoup her rightful holdings. Despite, or maybe because of, her insolence, the King desires her and moves to have her by force. Willing to avoid the rape at all costs, Elizabeth threatens to kill herself before he can do it. He resolves to have her by a secret marriage.

For a time, it’s uncertain if King Edward IV tricked her into a false marriage and/or if he’s going to reconsider his love for Elizabeth and pursue a French princess. However, the king ultimately commits to the nuptials and announces Elizabeth as his legal wife, which is bound to cause some problems.

The White Queen was first broadcast in the UK on BBC One, where it premiered June 16. The show’s first season finale will air across the pond tonight, Aug. 11.

– Chelsea Regan

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