On this day in 1466 Elizabeth of York was born. Also on this day, in 1503, Elizabeth of York died. Yes she died on her 38th birthday, what a shite present that was for her. Elizabeth of York was born a princess to King Edward IV and his Queen, the utter badass Elizabeth Woodville, but when her Dad died the shit really hit the fan and Elizabeth’s life changed forever.
To cut short a really, really long story: Elizabeth’s Mum, Elizabeth Woodville, was a commoner who had struck lucky and bagged herself the King. The King’s family didn’t like it and so made life difficult for them. When King Edward died his son was due to inherit the throne under the watchful eye of his Uncle, Richard of Gloucester. However, Richard was a greedy fucker and wanted the crown for himself, so he declared his brother’s children bastards, including Princess Elizabeth. This not coincidentally made himself next in line to the throne – where he sat and ruled as the infamous Richard III (On a side note, Edward’s two sons then ‘vanished’ in mysterious circumstances at the Tower of London, something that Richard has been blamed for throughout history. This not coincidentally cemented his claim to the throne).
The young Elizabeth of York remained at court under her Uncles rule, where there were rumours that he wanted to marry her – which is as vile as discharge, since she was his niece – but she was born a princess, also had a claim to the throne and was smoking hot as fuck, so what can you do?!.
Meanwhile, in France there was a second contender to the English throne, a dude by the name of Henry Tudor. When the time was right Henry stormed into England and kicked the holy shit out of Richard, taking the English crown for himself at Bosworth Battlefield. He made a right fucking mug out of Richard, because not only did he take his throne and his country, he killed Richard and then took his girl too. A deal had been made by Henry’s Mum that if Henry won he would marry Elizabeth. However it was also likely that had Richard won the battle she would’ve been married to him. Either way, Elizabeth was going to be Queen.
Elizabeth of York and Henry Tudor (or King Henry VII as he now was known), married in January 1486. Their marriage was politically very important, as it united the two sides of the royal family that had been tearing strips out of each other and fucking over the country for years: the House York and the House Lancaster. They even combined their colours of red and white to make the Tudor rose, which is quite sweet really.
The pair were seen to be truly in love and their marriage produced eight kids (though only 4 survived past infancy). Elizabeth wasn’t as badass as her Mum but that doesn’t mean she took any shit either. She wasn’t known for getting involved in Government politics and all of the other shit a King has to sort out, but then who can blame her. She was however known to be kind and loving and made it her business to be involved in choosing partners for her kids. It was Elizabeth who chose Katherine of Aragon for her eldest son Arthur; though Arthur died shortly after they married, and then his little brother Henry swooped in like a spoilt little turd sack and married her too.
Elizabeth’s eighth pregnancy was to be her undoing. A week before she died she gave birth to a little girl who was more than likely premature and died. The birth took its toll on Elizabeth too and a week later she also died leaving behind her three surviving children and a heartbroken Henry VII.
Upon hearing of Elizabeth’s death, Henry sat in solitude for days, refusing to talk to anyone. He never really got over the death of his wife, and never remarried. At one point it was suggested he marry Katherine of Aragon, his Daughter-in-law, once she too was widowed by Arthur’s death. There was a lot of ‘keeping it in the family’ in the Tudor times, and by ‘it’ I mean shagging and marrying. Pure vomit.
Henry lived for another seven years, each year lighting candles and holding mass in Elizabeth’s honour on 11th February. He was also said to have turned into a massive dick, increasing taxes and just being a ratty old fucker in general, to be fair he had good reason.
So, that’s it, a brief look at the story of Queen Elizabeth of York. She was daughter, sister and wife of three kings, had a turbulent life and then died on her birthday. How shit is that?! Our current Queen Elizabeth of course technically has two birthdays – her actual one, and an official one – so you might say she’s stupidly put herself at twice the risk, and you would be right.
If you fancy reading more about the Battle of Bosworth you can do so here
Also, if you fancy getting your peepholes over a bit more of Henry VII’s shenanigans you can do that here