Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The White Princess Episode 7.
Just as The White Queen worked to restore the tarnished reputation of Richard III from a corrupt historical narrative, its sequel series The White Princess seems primed to do the same for the young man, who claimed to be the long-lost Prince Richard, the younger of the two York princes, who had disappeared from the Tower.
As dramatized in The White Princess, the Tudors declared the man was an imposter named Perkin Warbeck. But was he? To understand how any of this is plausible, we have to go back to The White Princess‘ successor series, The White Queen.
The White Queen attempted to dispel the infamous notion that the boys’ uncle, Richard III, was behind the princes’ mysterious vanishing. Positing that Henry VII’s mother, Margaret Beaufort, had arranged for the boys’ murders and that the princes’ mother, Elizabeth Woodville, had successfully managed to save one of her sons by switching her younger son, Richard, with a peasant boy.
Fast forward to the premiere of The White Princess and the York women become separated from Richard, as Henry VII’s forces come to usher them back to court. With Richard missing, Lizzie (Jodie Comer) eventually marries Henry (Jacob Collins-Levy) and becomes the mother of his three children.
As of The White Princess Episode 7, they have two sons and a daughter. In a move that changes everything on The White Princess, Lizzie also falls in love with her husband.
Meanwhile on The White Princess
Lizzie’s mother clings to hope that her son will resurface and that when he does, he will claim his birthright, kicking Henry VII off the throne and restoring the House of York to power. In Burgundy, the Duchess believes she will be able to do just that. She opens her home to the young man claiming to be Richard and grooms him to take the throne of England. But is “The Boy” really Richard? Or is he an imposter?
As The White Princess reaches its finale, Lizzie is keeping secrets from her husband. She and her mother cursed the male line of her brothers’ killers, and one of those brothers may not actually be dead.
After seeing the so-called “boy” for herself in The White Princess Episode 7, the answer to whether or not, “The Boy” is Richard has never been more complicated, and possibly apparent. Heading into Episode 8, here is a list of the top clues from The White Princess that indicate whether “The Boy” is really Lizzie’s brother, Richard.
The White Princess Clue No. 1: “The Boy” approaches the Duchess on The White Princess.
When the Duchess (Joanne Whalley) meets “The Boy” he comes to her, and she seems to instantly recognize him. Unlike the Duchess’ scheme involving the Teddy imposter, she is not shown searching for a Prince Richard impersonator.
The White Princess Clue No. 2: Richard’s eye color is called into question.
When “The Boy” (Patrick Gibson) leaves Burgundy on The White Princess, he bids farewell to his grandmother. Despite having been vehement that “The Boy” is Richard, his grandmother gives him one final look-over and questions her daughter, as to what color Prince Richard’s eyes were.
The Duchess scoffs it off, reassuring her mother that “The Boy” and Prince Richard share the same eye color, but the perceptive Cecily seems less confident than her daughter.
The White Princess Clue No. 3: Lizzie remains quiet on The White Princess.
Lizzie’s silence speaks volumes in The White Princess Episode 7. When “The Boy” is brought before her and Henry, she tearfully looks upon him, and then slowly turns away.
Her once defiant disposition shifts. In private later on, she becomes emotional and notices her hands are violently trembling. If she is so confident “The Boy” is not her brother Richard, why is she so shaken? In a behind-the-scenes feature posted on The White Princess‘ official Twitter account, showrunner Emma Frost discussed Lizzie’s emotional reaction to seeing “The Boy.”
The White Princess Clue No. 4: Maggie believes “The Boy” is Richard.
Following Maggie’s conversation with “The Boy” in an earlier episode of The White Princess, she becomes convinced he is Richard. Proving it for Maggie (Rebecca Benson) is how he recounts a Christmas they shared together as children.
From that point on, she has been an ardent believer that “The Boy” is Richard. Her husband is not as swayed. Is it wishful thinking by Maggie, so a York king can free her brother? Or is “The Boy” her cousin?
The White Princess Clue No. 5: “The Boy” proves he knows secrets.
Among the things “The Boy” knows is the aforementioned Christmas with Maggie and Teddy. In a private moment with Lizzie in The White Princess Episode 7, he also shares the name of their father’s mistress.
While someone could have reported the rumors of her identity to “The Boy,” it is likelier he is telling the truth. Bolstering that theory is that “The Boy” also shares a key detail about the state of Richard and Lizzie’s relationship on the day he vanished. It is a detail only a family member could have known.
The White Princess Clue No. 6: “The Boy” is unbreakable in public, and unshakable in private.
As Henry points out, “The Boy” talks to his wife Cathy (Amy Manson) as Richard. Why stay “in character” when there is no else around? It is possible “Perkin Warbeck” is so convinced of his delusion that he is Richard, he constantly thinks from that perspective. However, the amount of punishment heaped on him in The White Princess Episode 7, would make any man valuing his self-preservation snap out of it.
There is more evidence to support “The Boy” is Richard, than proof that discredits it. The White Princess gives hints and clues, yet no clear-cut confirmation. For instance, The White Princess does not show viewers a flashback of Richard remembering something from his childhood. It is an interesting decision, as a flashback would certainly put an end to viewer speculation.
The White Princess is clearly comfortable with a bit of mystery, so which way are you leaning? Is “The Boy” really Lizzie’s long-lost brother, Richard? Find out how the events surrounding “The Boy” play out in The White Princess Episode 8. The White Princess season finale airs this Sunday, June 4 on Starz at 8.pm. EST.
[Featured Image by Starz]