Richard vs. Henry: Who Deserved The Crown?

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Hello 🙂

I have somehow managed to get involved in two different parties that involve two very powerful men in the British Royal Family. On Facebook, you have the Richard III Society and there’s also The Henry Tudor Society. If you’re not familiar with medieval kings, you may not know why these two sides have always been controversial. I feel like I should have published this on August 22nd since that was the date of the Battle Of Bosworth Field and this would make more sense because you could find tons of information about them, but I already had a blog post and it takes me too long to rearrange them, so I kept it for today.

Richard was never supposed to be king, but after the death of his brother King Edward IV he was given rights to protect his oldest nephew, the new King Edward V. However, when Richard locked him in a cellar with his younger brother Richard, Duke Of York at the Tower of London the two disappeared and people assumed Richard had them killed.

There was always a theory in the Tudor times that King Richard III was a hunchback. They even painted a portrait of him and basically used it as propaganda to the people of England. To many people those were rumors put in place by their historians to make him look more villainous. And then after 500 years of wondering about it, they finally found his grave site in modern day London, where they found a corpse of a man with a bent up spine just like Richard was rumored to have had as well! In 2012, DNA came up with positive results that it was indeed the lost hunchback king, Richard III.

When I heard about this I was amazed! I have read so many articles and watched two separate programs about him that I’ve sort of became a sympathizer to Richard. However, the question remains, if the Tudor were right about the fact he was disabled, what if he truly had his nephews killed?

Now we have to discuss King Henry VII, the son of Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort. A woman who was betrothed to Edmund at the age of 12 and had Henry just under a year later. According to reports, it was a very traumatic experience for her but she loved her son very much!  She was the great-great-great-great granddaughter of King Edward III and great-great-great granddaughter of John of Guant, through his mistress but later became his wife Katherine Swynford. If you watch Game Of Thrones the term “bastard” should appear in your head right now.

Margaret was a loyal subject to the House of Lancaster, but when she married her fourth husband Thomas Stanley, 1st Earl Of Derby later on in life she changed sides to help support her common enemy King Edward IV and the House Of York. The reason why she didn’t like them was because after the fall of Henry VI and his wife Margaret of Anjou, her son was exiled and taken away from her to live in Wales with his uncle Jasper Tudor. So switching sides was not on her agenda by any means!

Despite this, she became one of Queen Elizabeth Woodville’s ladies-in-waiting and was even present in the births of their younger children. After the death of the king, Elizabeth and her children took up sanctuary since she did not support Richard and she began to write to Margaret Beaufort and made arrangements to marry off her oldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, who herself was considered a bastard after Richard found any means necessary to strip the rest of the clan of their titles so they could not claim the throne without it being treason, even if that making the world believe that a dead woman was contracted to marry Edward before he met Elizabeth.

However, later the older daughters (Elizabeth, Cecily, and Anne) were allowed to come to court and become their aunt Queen Anne’s ladies-in-waiting and somehow a rumor appeared to a romantic fling between the Lady Elizabeth and King Richard III. I think, this was also propaganda against Henry Tudor as they knew she was promised to him if he fought Richard. After Richard was killed at Bosworth Field, Henry finally married Elizabeth of York and she went on to bore him seven children.

Prince Arthur who was heir apparent; before his death at the age of 15, married the Spanish princess Katherine of Aragon. Princess Margaret, who went on to marry King James IV of Scotland and is the grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots and great-grandmother of King James VI and I. Prince Henry, who went on to become King Henry VIII and married Katherine of Aragon after the death of his brother and she bore him two children Princess Mary (who became Mary I) and Prince Henry, Duke of Cornwall who died just 52 days after his birth. He renounced the Catholic faith and married Anne Boleyn. She bore him another daughter Princess Elizabeth, who later became Queen Elizabeth I. After beheading Anne, he married her lady-in-waiting Jane Seymour and she bore him a son, King Edward VI but since she died shortly after, he went on to marry three more women: Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Katherine Parr.

His sister Princess Mary, became a Queen consort of Louis XII of France but it was only a brief marriage and she then returned to England and secretly married Charles Brandon, Duke Of Suffolk who was the king’s best friend and trusted adviser. She bore him two daughters Lady Eleanor and Lady Frances, who married Henry Grey, 3rd Marquess of Dorset, they had three daughters: Mary, Catherine and Jane, who was the de facto Queen of England after the death of her cousin King Edward VI. The other children of Henry and Elizabeth did not live to adulthood, but nevertheless they were Princess Elizabeth, Prince Edmund and Princess Katherine.

We know the stories of The Wars Of The Roses and what happened at the Battle of Bosworth Field, but everything in between is pretty bleak. It’s hard to choose a side to support, because I will admit I know more about the Tudor times, but after finding out the King Richard III was disabled and that he had scoliosis like myself, is kind of cool! There are many royals in history who suffered from disabilities that had lost their chances in the succession to the throne because of it. I have to fight not being mad about that, because it was a custom back then and unfortunately, that way of thinking is still ongoing in the different royal families of Europe.

What do you think of both the last Plantagenet and first Tudor king’s stories? Who do you think deserved the crown?
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