Richard lll’s Family Tragedies

Excerpt from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Royal Britain by Charles Phillips:

The following year King Richard’s 11 year-old son and only child, Edward, Prince of Wales died. Richard and his queen, Anne, were maddened with grief. The prospect of a Yorkist inheritance, so dear to Richard’s heart, began to look extremely vulnerable and when, in March 1485, Queen Anne died after a prolonged illness, rumours circulated that Richard had had her killed so that he could bolster his position by marrying his niece, Elizabeth of York.


Rous Roll: Queen Anne, Richard ll & Edward, Prince of Wales
Rous Roll: Queen Anne, Richard lll & Edward, Prince of Wales

Did Richard lll have something to do with the death of his wife? I doubt it. By all accounts we are led to believe that he and Anne had a great marriage. The loss of his son and then his wife would have been devastating to any loving husband and father. I do often wonder if he was interested in marrying his beautiful niece, Elizabeth of York. At the time it would have brought the former supporters of his nephew, Edward V back to his corner, so I can see the appeal of it to a ruling monarch.

History House of Plantagenet House of York

2 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Actually marrying Elizabeth of York would have done nothing for Richard. One it would have been legally impossible because she was a bastard, he would have to legitimatize her in order to marry her, which would have meant Richard was admitting he took the crown unjustly. And two Richard started planning (Possibly by February of 1485) a match to Joanna of Portugal, a woman who refused the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor yet accepted Richard, I have a hard time believing she would have accepted Richard if she thought she was second best or the rumors were true.
    Their was zero appeal to a match with Elizabeth, Richard had Yorkist support, the Woodvilles were even getting on with him at this point, what Richard need was Lancastrian blood, and Joanna was a direct descendent of John of Gaunt. That’s the bloodline Richard needed not Yorkist support.
    Plus Richard denies the rumors so openly and harshly I have a hard time believing he was being untruthful. Kings rarely denied rumors (Richard is one of the few Kings that did) publicly and for Richard to take the step to actually deny the rumors (Possibly crying while doing so) shows he was deeply upset by them. Richard never even denied rumors he killed the princes so for him to deny these rumors speaks volumes tome.

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