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If you watch one thing this week…

The Real White Queen and her Rivals

By Peter Skilton | 283 days ago

Our knowledge of history is being influenced by what we see in TV dramas. But just how much of it is factually correct? Not a lot, apparently…


The Real White Queen and her Rivals
Wednesday July 17, 9pm


Kids don’t know much about British history. The government have admitted it themselves, which is why they’re rejigging the curriculum. But that doesn’t help us adults who, let’s face it, aren’t much better. It’s the basic stuff that seems to elude a lot of the population, such as confusing Napoleon and Nelson.


The misunderstanding surrounding Britain’s rise isn’t helped by the glamorous and flamboyant period dramas that have conquered the nation’s screens of late. Sense and Sensibility, The Tudors and the latest hit drama, The White Queen have got the country fascinated by the past, or at least a rather tainted, TV director’s view of events. It makes for great post-roast, Sunday evening viewing but it doesn’t really relay things as they happened.


So before we get too captivated by the events of The White Queen, author Philippa Gregory, whose books the series is based on, unveils the truth in The Real White Queen and her Rivals. The two-part documentary puts the story straight and fills in the gaps left by these fairy tale-esque hits before our interpretation of British history becomes even more warped. After all, it’s events like the Wars of the Roses that paved the way to where we where are now and, ultimately, made Britain great in the first place.


So if you’re enjoying the BBC’s latest drama, this two-part series will prove vital to ensuring you really know what’s going on, who’s who and what really happened. You might then be able to teach your children a thing or two and make up for what they’re missing at school while they learn about America or Russia. OK, it won’t teach you that the Duke of Wellington beat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and Nelson defeated a joint French and Spanish force at the Battle of Trafalgar but you knew that (now)…


Peter Skilton writes for Stuff magazine


Go outside and you’re likely to melt, so why not check out some more great TV from this guide by ‘The Week in HD’ at


Want to bring the past to life? Enjoy it Ultra HD for a truly immersive experience LG’s range of Samrt TVs.