Your cheeky guide to the dynasty

The Other Elizabeth Girl

Double Portrait of Elizabeth of York and Henry...

Image via Wikipedia

Someone says “Elizabeth” and all Tudorphiles think of that marvellous ginger monarch with the cupcake-paper neckruff. Today we remember Elizabeth of York, Henry VIII’s mother (and that marvellous ginger monarch’s granny) who died on this date in 1503.

Elizabeth of York helped to wrap up the Wars of the Roses when Henry Tudor (who defeated Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field) took for himself the throne of England and the pretty girl on the enemy’s side. It worked like this:

  • The Wars of the Roses pitted the Lancasters against the Yorks. They were two parts of the same family but had been openly fighting since 1459.
  • It is soo uncomfortable to be at family events when there’s fighting, right? Right. In this corner, Henry Tudor (Lancaster) killed Richard III (York) in battle, and married the gal in that corner, Elizabeth of York. One big happy family again!

Well, not right away. But the marriage of Henry (now Henry VII) and Liz of York (planned by their mothers!) eventually brought peace to the royals once again. Liz was known to be a real sweetie, with lovely features to match her lovely heart.  She and Henry VII had six children and were crushed when their oldest, Arthur, died. However, they moved to add one more little one to their family.

The wee one was a girl, named Katherine, who died the day she was born. Nine days later (on her own birthday, 11 February) the sweet and beautiful queen died of that post-partum infection which claimed so many moms at that time.  Her surviving children and grandchildren would knock English history out of the park for the next 100 years.



  Anne Barnhill wrote @

Thanks! Wish we had more pix of her.

  mfantaliswrites wrote @

I have always thought that Arthur was Henry’s child and Henry was hers (for better or worse). When you look at how Henry turned out — his physicality, his sensuality, his love of music, dancing, women, poetry, etc., those are all traits traceable back to his maternal grandfather Edward. I think that not only genetically but in nurture, he was more influenced (indulged?) by his mother.

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