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Why Earl Godwin From Vikings: Valhalla Looks So Familiar

Another period drama you might recognize David Oakes from is BBC One’s “The White Queen,” a miniseries based on Philippa Gregory’s novel of the same name (via BBC). Starring future “Mission: Impossible” star Rebecca Ferguson, “The White Queen” tells the mostly true story of Elizabeth Woodville, the consort to King Edward IV and Queen of England from 1464 to 1470 and 1471 to 1483 (via Queens College Cambridge). 

In seven episodes of “The White Queen,” Oakes plays the important role of George, Duke of Clarence, the brother of King Edward IV and the brother-in-law of the show’s titular character (via IMDb). Like many characters on the series, Clarence was a real man who lived in England during the 15th century and played a vital role in the so-called “War of the Roses” (via Ancestral Findings). The son of the Duke of York and the brother to two Kings, Clarence led a difficult life. 

According to The Crown Chronicles, the 1476 death of his wife and the subsequent death of his newborn son caused Clarence to have a mental breakdown, leading to a variety of erratic behaviors from the English nobleman including his participation in a rebellion against his brother, Edward IV. Clarence was later charged with treason and executed at the Tower of London in 1478 at the young age of 28. Interestingly, many have claimed that Clarence was executed by forced drowning in a vat of Malmsey wine, but no reputable sources have been found to confirm such a story. According to Find A Grave, George, Duke of Clarence, was buried in Tewkesbury Abbey.

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