Reader reviews: What YOU thought of The White Queen

Lavish and outstanding or dire and disappointing? - it's a mixed reaction for BBC1's new historical drama The White Queen

Alice Todman, 23, Rayleigh, Essex, says…


The White Queen is a lush period drama to get lost in. Having lost her husband in battle, Lady Elizabeth Grey (a steely Rebecca Ferguson) makes a bid to reclaim her lands from the new King, Edward IV (Max Irons). The lusty King (looking like a member of One Direction) pursues Elizabeth, but she refuses to be his mistress. Worryingly, she has to threaten murder and suicide to deter him, but that doesn’t stop her from accepting his proposal. They are married in secret by a suspicious looking priest. The Earl of Warwick (Aneurin Barnard) looks like he wants to nut Edward with his cleft chin when he hears of it, but the marriage is legit.

The show is very good looking and Emma Frost’s script keeps up the pace. It’s also great to see a female-driven historical drama. Historians may bicker, but there’s enough intrigue to keep me watching.

Angela Cainen, 30, Stockport, says…

If you wanted historical accuracy ‘The White Queen’ was probably not the drama for you. If, however, you wanted nude sex scenes and more witchcraft than has been seen since the demise of ‘Merlin’ then ‘The White Queen’ was a jolly good time.

You do have to wonder how Edward managed to win the throne, given he seemed to spend more time in the bedchamber than on the battlefield. His romance with Elizabeth went from near rape to adoration once he’d agreed to put (an enchanted) ring on it. Said ring was the product of Elizabeth’s mother Jacquetta’s scheming. There’s no doubt that Janet McTeer stole the show as the woman who would be mother to a queen.

Overall ‘The White Queen’ was something of a romp, in more ways than one. It has certainly sexed up Sunday nights on BBC One. All it needs now is a few dragons.

Sarah Corden-Lloyd, 49, York, says…

The White Queen was disappointingly sterile revealing nothing of the grime, smell and adversity of the 1490s. Consequently this extraordinary story of women shaping British history was turned into a fairytale, which inevitably belittles their courage, calculation and influence.  

Rebecca Ferguson is confusingly bewitching and I can’t help thinking that this chronicle should have been given more dialogue and less fleshy mingling. I’m not against sex scenes, I’m all for them, but the new king’s attempt to rape the character of Elizabeth Woodville who then married him lost all authority because of the lack of meaningful characterization beforehand. Janet McTeer carries the drama, but she is wasting her talents with a poorly written part.

I didn’t want Merlin last night, I wanted to be readied for the week ahead with inspirational didactic drama. Instead I looked at my seventeen year old daughter who shrugged and said “It’ll do”. 

Owen Staton, 40, Neath, South Wales, says…

Episode one of the lavish adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s War of the roses epic aired last night full of beautiful sets, stunning locations and fantastic costumes.

The often untold and little known story of one of the most incredible women in British history, was well thought out and acted from its opening scene seeing the BBC fight back against HBO in its own battle for the period drama crown. The millions spent in its production were eclipsed however by the simply stunning performance from its Swedish leading lady Rebecca Ferguson who could do with a simple look what millions of pounds of effects budget could not accomplish. Ferguson was quite simply outstanding and this series is going to be worth a watch simply to see this rose grow into a true star.

Jonathan Moor, 57, Ludlow, says…

Despite the beautiful costumes and using medieval Bruges to represent London of the 1460s, in a word it was dire; a complete muddle for anyone not cognisant with the period. Once again history has been falsified for a modern day love romp, this time set in what passes for fifteenth century England.
When Elizabeth Woodville met Edward IV, he had already secured his throne – no battle was imminent. Given the fact their first meeting was supposed to be in the summer, why a scene of a battle scene set in a snow covered landscape? Nor were Edward’s two brothers George Duke of Clarence and Richard Duke of Gloucester the ages at which they are portrayed – they were 15 and 12 respectively.
No wonder so few in England have any grasp of our country’s history if this kind of rubbish is served up as fact.


A big thank you to everyone who sent in a review – we really enjoyed reading them! If you’ve got a taste for sharing your opinion, or these clever Radio Times readers have inspired you to put pen to paper (or, more accurately, fingertips to keyboard) keep your eyes peeled for the next Radio Times Reader Review….