To marathon British “queens”

Want to enjoy Becoming Elizabeth even more? Take advantage of the weekend to marathon the queens in order. Here some tips.

In historical order

To follow the chronological order in which everything happens, it would be like this:

The White Queen, Starz

The White Princess, Starz

The Spanish Princess, Starz

The Other Boleyn Girl, Amazon Prime Video

Becoming Elizabeth, Starz

Elizabeth, Amazon Prime Video

Elizabeth, The Golden Age, Amazon Prime Video

Mary Stuart, Paramount Plus

Remembering the links…

The Yorks and the Lancasters came into conflict over a change in the order of succession (to understand this, it’s worth reviewing The Hollow Crown on Amazon Prime Video. Drawing a map can help too, because it gets confusing!

The War of the Roses

The White Queen recounts the period part of the Wars of the Roses and how two British houses fought with blood and pain for the British throne. Based on Philippa Gregory‘s historical novels, the narrative is driven by the female perspective, of the women who fought the real war for power behind the scenes. The series is the conjunction of three books, The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter. It begins in 1464 with the nation at war for nine years without reaching an agreement as to who is the rightful king.

The story (which inspired Game of Thrones) is full of twists, but the important thing is to know that it shows the marriage of Elizabeth Woodville to King Edward IV, of the York family. Edward has two brothers, George and Richard.

George and Edward break up and start fighting for power. George is third in the line of succession because his brother had two sons with Elizabeth (and two daughters). George marries Isabel Neville, with whom he has a daughter, Margaret. Elizabeth dies in childbirth of the couple’s son and when the two crown princes “disappear” in the Tower of London, it is the youngest of the York brothers, Richard, who becomes King Richard III.

Richard is married to Isabell Neville’s sister Anne, but their marriage suffers from political conflicts, culminating in his involvement with his own niece, Elizabeth “Lizzy” of York. However, Richard is deposed by Henry Tudor, thanks to the political prowess of his mother, Margaret Beaufort.

Moving on to The White Princess, the story begins shortly after the death of Richard III. To seal the peace between the Yorks and the Lancasters, the eldest daughter of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV, Elizabeth of York is forced to marry Henry, now King Henry VI.

The two Elizabeths, mother and daughter, harbor a grievance and suspect that Henry is involved in the death of the crown princes as well and cast a curse: all the firstborn males of the Tudors will die before they can rule. Pause for a comment. In the true story the blame for the disappearance and death of the princes falls on Richard III’s shoulders, but in the series the culprit is Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, who is a good man.

Although the beginning of the union is tumultuous, Lizzy and Henrique end up falling for real when their children are born. They went down in history as one of the rare marriages of love and fidelity between a King and a Queen, yet their love story is built on murder, betrayal and curse. To secure England’s financial and political future, Lizzie and Henry make a pact with Spain, uniting their families with their children’s marriage.

Where history reaches Elizabeth

The Spanish Princess is divided into two seasons, and delivers the series to Becoming Elizabeth. In 1501, Princess Catherine of Aragon marries Arthur, Prince of Wales. She gets along better with his brother, Henry, and befriends her sisters-in-law, Margaret and Mary. He also gets close to their aunt Margaret Pole.

Margaret Pole, to remember, is the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, and if the order of succession had not been male, she would have been Queen in place of Richard III or Henry VII. She and Lizzy are from the York faction, but Henry VII, a Lancaster, inaugurated Tudor House to seal the peace. She went on to be an influential woman and her decision to support her nephew Henry further down the road will prove fatal for Catherine. But before that, let’s go back.

As they watch their eldest son get married, Lizzy and Henrique await the birth of their 5th child. Still following the tradition of political marriages, they marry their daughter Margaret “Meg” Tudor to the King of Scotland and, their youngest, Mary, to the King of France. Both marriages are unhappy and dramatic. Meg became a Stuart by giving birth to her son, James V, the future father of Mary Stuart. Mary, when she became a widow, married the Duke of Suffolk, Charles Brandon. Their granddaughter will be Jane Grey. Keep this information because both will cross paths with Elizabeth I.

Returning, Arthur suddenly dies leaving Catherine a widow and the pact with Spain in jeopardy. Then, feeling guilty about the curse, Lizzy dies in childbirth, leaving Henry VII desolate and depressed. It doesn’t take long to die either, of heart and sadness, causing the young inexperienced Henry to be crowned Henry VIII. He then marries Catarina and the two have a daughter, Mary.

In the absence of a male heir, Henry and Catherine’s marriage frays and he begins to have affairs with other women, including the two Boleyn sisters. From the relationship with Anna, in particular, it turns into an overwhelming passion and after much pressure, scandal and quarrels, the King divorces Catherine to marry Anna Boleyn.

To fill the gap between one series and another, the film

To the despair of Henry, who needed a male heir, Elizabeth was born. Here, if you want to understand what happened, the film The Other Boleyn Girl tells the story of Anna Boleyn‘s romance with Henry VIII and how she made powerful enemies and was destroyed by the need to generate a male heir. Anna had little contact with her daughter because when she was still a child she was executed at the behest of her husband.

Henry VIII still married five more times, but it was with Jane Seymour that he got the dreamed son, Edward, future King Edward VI. Jane died in childbirth, but her family remained the most influential in the kingdom. When Henry VIII died, aged 55, the little prince was still a child and was disputed by his uncles, Thomas and Edward, who used their kinship to the King’s mother to get richer. Edward, also Lord Dudley, established himself as Protector and de facto ruler of the realm until the two brothers fell from power and were executed. But we’re making a lot of progress.

Becoming Elizabeth begins precisely at this turning point in which Edward ascends the throne. The two Seymour brothers are fighting for power and Thomas marries Henry VIII’s widow Catherine Parr. It is important to understand Edward Seymour here.

Responsible for resolving the Scottish issue, he could not prevent Meg’s granddaughter (Henry VIII’s sister), Mary Stuart, from running away to join the French Royal Family. This part will be essential when they release The Serpent Queen, about Catarina de Medicis.

Edward’s downfall will be through a coup d’état to be led by John Dudley, Earl of Warick. When feeling threatened, he “took possession of the person of the king”, his nephew, which in other words means that he imprisoned him. The mismanagement of the Seymour government was also exposed and the Regent was arrested, tried and convicted. John Dudley replaced him.

Dudley, who will also be sentenced in a few years, has gained great influence over the young Edward VI and convinces the King to exclude his sisters from the succession, to privilege his cousin, Jane Gray (remember, Jane is Henry VIII’s great-niece on the of your grandmother). To ensure his rise, Dudley marries his eldest son, Guildford, to Jane.

In early 1553 Edward VI became ill and died within six months, with the reluctant Lady Jane Gray being crowned Queen. The conspiracy only lasted 9 days, as the subjects were offended that Mary, Catherine’s daughter, was not the Queen. His attempt to stop it was thwarted and he was arrested, tried and executed. Just like Jane and Guildford. Historians claim that John Dudley’s negative image served as a scapegoat for others.

Let’s go back to Thomas Seymour. Thomas was Catherine Parr’s lover before she married the King, marrying her once she was widowed, as seen in Becoming Elizabeth. While living with his wife’s stepdaughter, he began to show affection for Elizabeth and excessive intimacy, tickling her and patting her bottom while she was lying on her bed, or entering her room in her nightclothes. The princess’s housekeeper reportedly reported it to Catherine, who downplayed it as innocent fun and even participated in “jokes”. Historians claim that Elizabeth did indeed feel something more for Thomas, but when Catherine became pregnant, was so concerned about her husband’s flirtatious relationship with Elizabeth that she sent Elizabeth away, fueling the gossip of something the stronger having happened to such an extreme decision.

Catherine gave birth to a daughter, Mary Seymour, but died days later. As heir, Thomas went on to be one of the richest men in England. Although “surprised” by his wife’s death, he immediately began courting Elizabeth. He also took advantage of his brother’s absence, fighting in Scotland, to fuel the campaign against him and incite a frustrated rebellion, where he underestimated his popularity and power. For some unknown reason, Thomas Seymour was caught trying to break into the king’s chambers at Hampton Court Palace. Arrested and sent to the Tower of London, it was interpreted as an assassination attempt, raising suspicions about Elizabeth’s involvement in the story. He was sentenced to death and executed for treason.

In prison, Elizabeth approached the man who would come to be known as the great love of her life, Robert Dudley, son of John Dudley and imprisoned for helping his father in trying to prevent Mary’s coronation. Binding everyone’s fates.

All of this will be in Becoming Elizabeth. The 1998 films Elizabeth and Elizabeth, The Golden Age are about Elizabeth’s accession to the throne and how she excelled as regent. All this trauma that will be in the series is the basis of the insecurities and also the decisions of the Queen, including that of never marrying.

To close the karmic cycle, when he died without heirs, it was precisely Mary Stuart’s son who became King. Mary, who was Elizabeth’s cousin on her father’s side (Mary was a grandniece of Henry VIII, as was Jane Grey) and as a Catholic and legitimate, questioned Elizabeth’s right, fruit of the union of Henry VIII after the divorce (not recognized in the Catholic Faith). So, in the end, the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Lizzy and Henry VII persecuted each other and killed each other until, with the death of Edward VI with no male heirs, neither Mary nor Elizabeth, the Tudor house had only “ended” two generations later.

Did you like the summary? It’s to help with movies and series! We still have The Serpent Queen coming, which will transport us to France and open the horizon for another war for the throne and power. When House f the Dragon arrives – fiction could even be dull comparing to real life– right?

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