As the episode begins, Princess Elizabeth (Jodie Comer) is ordered to visit Henry (Jacob Collins-Levy). When she arrives, Henry inquires about her illness, which she admits has almost passed. Lizzie remains standoffish and doesn’t let Henry kiss her. The couple enjoys a live performance, while Lady Margaret (Michelle Fairley) speaks with Bishop Morton (Kenneth Cranham). The Bishop reveals he has been appointed to the royal council and made Chancellor of England. Lizzie speaks with her mother (Essie Davis) and admits she is growing tired of Henry’s ramblings. When Lady Margaret interrupts, Elizabeth finds an excuse to take her daughter to her room. Then, they speak about the Royal Progress and using the trip to find out who is still for York. They conclude that their only likely ally is Francis Lovell (Anthony Flanagan).
Henry learns about the trip and its purpose. He is told he should ride through the lands and show off his righteous sovereignty. Jasper (Vincent Regan) reminds the King that the battle is still fresh in the citizens’ minds and those wounds will need time to heal. It is also confirmed that skirmishes could still break out along the way. Henry retreats to his wife. Lizzie wonders how Henry will give the impression that the two Houses are united by a peaceful and happy marriage. He eventually agrees to let her tag along. She also explains that Henry should not fear the three stray Stafford rebels, as doing so will only give them more power. Henry returns to Jasper and his mother. He insists he will go to York to show he is not afraid. Seconds later, Elizabeth encounters a new maid, Ruth. She tricks the girl into taking a letter to Lady Margaret.
She uses the distraction to hide her letter to Francis Lovell. Margaret gets the letter and immediately burns it after reading a few lewd passages. Margaret visits Cecily (Suki Waterhouse). Margaret tries to squeeze information from the girl. Cecily tells her that Lizzie and her mother are very close. Margaret visits Lizzie and suggests she remains behind, since there is an illness going around. They agree that Elizabeth should go in her place as a representative for York. Lizzie ridicules her mother for driving all of the plots on her own. Before the party leaves, Margaret informs Lizzie that she is expected to speak with the midwife. Elizabeth is taken to the tower and locked inside. Margaret explains that she will remain there until the King returns. Bishop Morton agrees to pray with her daily. Outside, Jasper tells Margaret that the sickness has reached London to the west.
Despite the danger, she insists Henry must claim his kingdom. Elizabeth instructs one of her daughters to keep an eye out for Ned (Rollo Skinner). She gets another daughter to pick horse hairs from her coat. Meanwhile, Lizzie tries to find a fun activity to keep Maggie and Teddy (Rhys Connah) occupied. Elizabeth begins writing a letter in her own blood. Lizzie and her friends head to the throne room. Guards enter and board up the windows. The Bishop arrives and reveals that the public rooms will be closed, until the court has returned. Lizzie demands to see her grandmother, before flopping to the ground and refusing to budge. Ned passes by Elizabeth’s window. She throws her ring in his direction, but he doesn’t notice.
Granny Cicly visits Lizzie in her room. She immediately admits that times have changed and she is afraid of the barbarians. She makes it clear she plans to leave town. Elizabeth performs a magic trick to lure Ned to her window. After it succeeds, she gives him her letter. Ned immediately delivers the letter to Francis. The letter encourages Francis to show his true colors. He sneaks into town and fires an arrow in Henry’s direction. It misses, but strikes a soldier. Francis rushes in and stabs Henry in the shoulder. Then, he makes his escape. Jasper chases him on horseback. Once Henry is transported to safety, Margaret instructs him to come down hard on his enemies. Francis manages to escape with help from the Staffords. Back at the castle, an illness breaks out and people begin dropping dead.
Maggie learns about the sickness from Ned. She also learns about Elizabeth’s imprisonment. Maggie takes the news to Cecily, who insists they should stay away from the sick. The two try to keep the information hidden from Lizzie. That night, Henry writes a letter to Lizzie. Thanks to the letter, Lizzie learns about her mother and the attack by Francis Lovell. Maggie is forced to tell the truth. Lizzie immediately puts a plan into action. During this time, Henry becomes angry with his mother. Margaret suggests offering Elizabeth to the king in Scotland. He insists she would offer better advice, if she would spend less time flirting with Jasper. Lizzie forces the guards to break open the door to the vault. She pretends she is going to hurt the child and this ticks off the Bishop and Cicly. She uses the money to help the locals. Then, she visits her mother. Elizabeth seems thrilled about the illness and suggests they could use it against Henry.
Lizzie doesn’t like the idea. She also belittles her mother for using Francis Lovell to try and assassinate Henry. Lizzie suggests a legitimate war would be more fitting. She also makes it clear that Henry is already aware of Elizabeth’s betrayal. Maggie and Teddy throw out coins to the citizens. They’re told to eat bread to survive. The citizens begin referring to Teddy as King Warwick. Lizzie sends a letter to Henry claiming she and her mother were not involved in the assassination attempt. She urges Henry to look inside of himself for the cause. Then, Henry learns about the uprising of King Warwick. Henry has the boy locked in the tower. Maggie immediately seeks help from Lizzie. During the encounter, they learn that Cecily has basically aligned herself with Margaret. Henry learns about the boy’s imprisonment, as they continue their journey. The party comes across a group of citizens.
The group praises the King for showing them mercy. When they find out about Lizzie’s actions, Margaret insists she needs to be punished severely. Henry meets with Lizzie. Lizzie makes it clear she is ready to accept any punishment he is willing to give. She insists they cannot let people die in the streets when they have a means to stop it. She also explains that ruling with fear is a mistake and will only lead to dissent. Lizzie also makes it clear the Teddy is not a threat. Henry admits the entire country hates him, except for those she helped him win over. Henry thanks Lizzie and insists they could be king together. However, he realizes that she hates him and probably always will.
Next, Henry learns that Burgundy has become a rebel stronghold. He refuses war and instead suggests sending a peace envoy, which will be led by Jasper. Lizzie speaks with Maggie. She admits Teddy cannot be released just yet. However, she believes she has found a way to win. Lizzie visits Henry and lets him feel the baby’s kick. Margaret enters and demands Lizzie remain in confinement until the child is born. Lizzie fires back that the King should make that decision.
The White Princess Review
The second episode of The White Princess was good, but the cheesy magic almost ruined it. Also, Lizzie’s attempt to harm her baby also made me cringe. Besides these two hiccups, the episode went off without a hitch. The scheming is becoming more intense. Lizzie is slowly winning over her husband, while becoming more suspicious of her mother’s motives. Henry is beginning to distrust Margaret. It is clear the relationship between Henry and Lizzie is strengthening.
Will they unite as a single king or is it all a ploy for Lizzie to gain the upper hand? The episode scores a 7.5 out of 10. Catch up with past recaps of The White Princess now!