Wedding of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York


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Wedding of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York

Westminster, London The 18th of January 1486 AD

The union between the future Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV , had been negotiated by their two mothers long before Henry seized the throne. Margaret Beaufort, Henry’s mother, had a canny mind, and saw the advantages of uniting the houses of York and Lancaster; Elizabeth Woodville, Elizabeth’s mother, saw the marriage as a route back to power, and had good reason to want revenge over Richard III who had usurped the throne destined for her son and his nephew Edward. On Christmas Day 1483 Henry made a solemn vow in Rennes Cathedral to marry Elizabeth once he held the English crown.
Having won the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485, and eliminated Richard III, Henry was free to fulfil his promise. He made a political point, however, by putting his coronation before his wedding; he was king by legitimate succession and right of conquest, not through marriage. The couple married in Westminster Abbey on January 18 1486.
The Tudor Rose, the emblem containing the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York , was the artistic symbol of their marriage and the end of the Wars of the Roses , though a few minor uprisings still occurred after they wed. It seems the union was happy enough, and it produced two sons: Prince Arthur, and the future Henry VIII ; and two daughters, Margaret of Scotland and Mary, for a short period Queen of France; other siblings fought to survive infancy.

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Marriage is one long conversation, chequered by disputes. - Robert Louis Stevenson
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On this day:
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