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Elizabeth of York

Royalty

Born: 11 February 1466
Died: 11 February 1503
Birthplace: Westminster, England
Best known as:

Henry VIII's mother

Elizabeth of York was the wife of England's King Henry VII and royal consort from 1486 until her death, and the mother of King Henry VIII. She was the eldest daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville, born at Westminster and educated to be a future royal wife. Edward IV died unexpectedly in 1483, leaving his son (Elizabeth's brother) as king, with his brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as his son's "protector." As it turned out, Richard put Edward's two sons in the Tower of London and they disappeared, presumably murdered. Richard, Elizabeth's uncle, became King Richard III and, they say, had plans to marry her after his first wife died. But Henry of the Tudor house, urged on by Elizabeth's mother, took the throne from Richard III after a battle in 1485 that killed Richard, and Henry married Elizabeth in 1486, a few months after his coronation. After their first son was born, Elizabeth was coronated as queen in November of 1487. Although her bloodline claim to the throne was stronger than her husband's, Elizabeth stayed out of politics. Despite their arranged marriage, Elizabeth and Henry had a good relationship, and she was a devoted mother. Together they had seven children, and her son Henry went on to succeed his father, as Henry VIII. She died on her 37th birthday, after having given birth to a daughter, Katherine, who also died.

Extra credit:

Elizabeth of York is sometimes said to be the inspiration for the image of the queen in a standard deck of playing cards... Prior to her marriage to Henry, Elizabeth was betrothed to others at least three times, including her uncle, Richard III.

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