Sir Ian Murray McKellen is an English actor. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, two Critics' Choice Awards, he has received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. McKellen's career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction; the BBC states that his "performances have guaranteed him a place in the canon of English stage and film actors". A recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK, McKellen is regarded as a British cultural icon, he started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their regarded repertory company. In 1965, McKellen made his first West End appearance. In 1969, he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare's Richard II and Marlowe's Edward II, he established himself as one of the country's foremost classical actors.
In the 1970s, McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including the titular King in Richard III, James Whale in Gods and Monsters, Magneto in the X-Men films, Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours, he has been gay since 1988, continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide. He was awarded Freedom of the City of London in October 2014. McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, the son of Margery Lois and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer, he was their second child, with a sister, five years his senior. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan.
They lived there until Ian was twelve years old, before relocating to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted. The experience of living through the war as a young child had a lasting impact on him, he said that "only after peace resumed... did I realise that war wasn't normal." When an interviewer remarked that he seemed quite calm in the aftermath of 11 September attacks, McKellen said: "Well, you forget—I slept under a steel plate until I was four years old.". McKellen's father was a civil engineer and lay preacher, was of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent. Both of McKellen's grandfathers were preachers, his great-great-grandfather, James McKellen, was a "strict, evangelical Protestant minister" in Ballymena, County Antrim, his home environment was Christian, but non-orthodox. "My upbringing was of low nonconformist Christians who felt that you led the Christian life in part by behaving in a Christian manner to everybody you met." When he was 12, his mother died of breast cancer.
After his coming out as gay to his stepmother, Gladys McKellen, a member of the Religious Society of Friends, he said, "Not only was she not fazed, but as a member of a society which declared its indifference to people's sexuality years back, I think she was just glad for my sake that I wasn't lying anymore." His great-great-grandfather Robert J. Lowes was an activist and campaigner in the successful campaign for a Saturday half-holiday in Manchester, the forerunner to the modern five-day work week, thus making Lowes a "grandfather of the modern weekend". McKellen attended Bolton School, of which he is still a supporter, attending to talk to pupils. McKellen's acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre. An early fascination with the theatre was encouraged by his parents, who took him on a family outing to Peter Pan at the Opera House in Manchester when he was three; when he was nine, his main Christmas present was a fold-away wood and bakelite Victorian theatre from Pollocks Toy Theatres, with cardboard scenery and wires to push on the cut-outs of Cinderella and of Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.
His sister took him to his first Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, by the amateurs of Wigan's Little Theatre, shortly followed by their Macbeth and Wigan High School for Girls' production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with music by Mendelssohn, with the role of Bottom played by Jean McKellen, who continued to act and produce amateur theatre until her death. In 1958, McKellen, at the age of 18, won a scholarship to St Catharine's College, where he read English literature, he has since been made an Honorary Fellow of the College. While at Cambridge, McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society, where he appeared in 23 plays over the course of 3 years. At that young age he was giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi and Doctor Faustus. During this period McKellen had been directed by Peter Hall, John Barton and Dadie Rylands, all of whom would have a huge impact on McKellen's future career. McKellen made his first professional appearance in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons, although an audio recording of the Marlowe Society's Cymbeline had gone on commercial sale as part of the Argo Shakespeare series.
After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers, regarded as a "notable success". In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Ol
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career, he had considerable success in television roles, his family had no theatrical connections, but Olivier's father, a clergyman, decided that his son should become an actor. After attending a drama school in London, Olivier learned his craft in a succession of acting jobs during the late 1920s. In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, he appeared in his first film. In 1935 he played in a celebrated production of Romeo and Juliet alongside Gielgud and Ashcroft, by the end of the decade he was an established star. In the 1940s, together with Richardson and John Burrell, Olivier was the co-director of the Old Vic, building it into a respected company.
There his most celebrated roles included Sophocles's Oedipus. In the 1950s Olivier was an independent actor-manager, but his stage career was in the doldrums until he joined the avant garde English Stage Company in 1957 to play the title role in The Entertainer, a part he played on film. From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars, his own parts there included the title role in Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Among Olivier's films are Wuthering Heights, a trilogy of Shakespeare films as actor-director: Henry V, Richard III, his films included The Shoes of the Fisherman, Marathon Man, The Boys from Brazil. His television appearances included an adaptation of The Moon and Sixpence, Long Day's Journey into Night, Love Among the Ruins, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brideshead Revisited and King Lear. Olivier's honours included a life peerage and the Order of Merit. For his on-screen work he received four Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.
The National Theatre's largest auditorium is named in his honour, he is commemorated in the Laurence Olivier Awards, given annually by the Society of London Theatre. He was married three times, to the actresses Jill Esmond from 1930 to 1940, Vivien Leigh from 1940 to 1960, Joan Plowright from 1961 until his death. Olivier was born in Dorking, the youngest of the three children of the Reverend Gerard Kerr Olivier and his wife Agnes Louise, née Crookenden, their elder children were Sybille and Gerard Dacres "Dickie". His great-great-grandfather was of French Huguenot descent, Olivier came from a long line of Protestant clergymen. Gerard Olivier had begun a career as a schoolmaster, but in his thirties he discovered a strong religious vocation and was ordained as a priest of the Church of England, he practised high church, ritualist Anglicanism and liked to be addressed as "Father Olivier". This made him unacceptable to most Anglican congregations, the only church posts he was offered were temporary deputising for regular incumbents in their absence.
This meant a nomadic existence, for Laurence's first few years, he never lived in one place long enough to make friends. In 1912, when Olivier was five, his father secured a permanent appointment as assistant rector at St Saviour's, Pimlico, he held the post for six years, a stable family life was at last possible. Olivier was devoted to his mother, but not to his father, whom he found a remote parent, he learned a great deal of the art of performing from him. As a young man Gerard Olivier had considered a stage career and was a dramatic and effective preacher. Olivier wrote that his father knew "when to drop the voice, when to bellow about the perils of hellfire, when to slip in a gag, when to wax sentimental... The quick changes of mood and manner absorbed me, I have never forgotten them." In 1916, after attending a series of preparatory schools, Olivier passed the singing examination for admission to the choir school of All Saints, Margaret Street, in central London. His elder brother was a pupil, Olivier settled in, though he felt himself to be something of an outsider.
The church's style of worship was Anglo-Catholic, with emphasis on ritual and incense. The theatricality of the services appealed to Olivier, the vicar encouraged the students to develop a taste for secular as well as religious drama. In a school production of Julius Caesar in 1917, the ten-year-old Olivier's performance as Brutus impressed an audience that included Lady Tree, the young Sybil Thorndike, Ellen Terry, who wrote in her diary, "The small boy who played Brutus is a great actor." He won praise in other schoolboy productions, as Maria in Twelfth Night and Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew. From All Saints, Olivier went on to St Edward's School, from 1920 to 1924, he made little mark until his final year, when he played Puck in the school's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In January 1924, his brother left England to work in India as a rubber planter. Olivier missed him and asked his father how soon he could follow, he recalled in his memoirs that his father replied, "Don't be such a fool, you're not going to India, you're going on the stage."
In 1924 Gerard Olivier, a habitually fru
The Black Adder
The Black Adder is the first series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, directed by Martin Shardlow and produced by John Lloyd. The series was aired on BBC One from 15 June 1983 to 20 July 1983, was a joint production with the Australian Seven Network. Set in 1485 at the end of the British Middle Ages, the series is written as a secret history which contends that King Richard III won the Battle of Bosworth Field, only to be unintentionally assassinated by his nephew Edmund and succeeded by Richard IV, one of the Princes in the Tower; the series follows the exploits of Richard IV's unfavoured second son Edmund in his various attempts to increase his standing with his father and, in the final episode, his quest to overthrow him. Conceived while Atkinson and Curtis were working on Not the Nine O'Clock News, the series covers a number of medieval issues in Britain in a humorous and anachronistic manner—witchcraft, royal succession, European relations, the Crusades and the conflict between the Crown and the Church.
The filming of the series was ambitious, with a large cast and much location shooting. Shakespearean dialogue is sometimes adapted for comic effect. Despite winning an International Emmy, The Black Adder is regarded as the weakest series of Blackadder by its creators. Set in the Middle Ages, the series is written as an alternative history, it opens on 21 August 1485, the eve of the Battle of Bosworth Field, which in the series is won not by Henry Tudor but by Richard III. Richard III, played by Peter Cook, is presented as a good king who doted on his nephews, contrary to the Shakespearean view of him as a hunchbacked, infanticidal monster. After his victory in the battle, Richard III is unintentionally killed by Lord Edmund Plantagenet. Not recognizing the king, Edmund cuts his head off; the late King's nephew, Duke of York, Lord Edmund Plantagenet's father, is crowned as Richard IV. Lord Edmund himself did not take part in the battle after arriving late, but claims to have killed 450 peasants and several nobles, one of whom had been killed by his brother in the battle.
King Richard IV of England and XII of Scotland and his Queen Gertrude of Flanders have two sons: Harry, Prince of Wales and his younger brother Prince Edmund. Of the two, Harry is by far his father's favourite, the King acknowledging his second son's existence, it is a running gag throughout the series that Edmund's father cannot remember his name. However, despite his dismissive attitude toward his second son, the King loves Edmund dearly, possible due to their father-son relationship: in the third episode, when Edmund becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury and helps his father to secure some land from a dying noble before the church can, the King acknowledges Edmund as his son, embraces him and mentions to the Queen that he has "turned out well", in the series' finale, on Edmund's deathbed, the King does his best to console him and has the entire court drink a toast in his honour. Using this premise, the series follows the fictitious reign of Richard IV through the experiences of Prince Edmund, who styles himself as "The Black Adder", his two sidekicks: the imbecilic Lord Percy Percy, the Duke of Northumberland.
By the end of the series, events converge with accepted history, when King Richard IV and his entire family are poisoned, allowing Henry Tudor to take the throne as King Henry VII. He rewrites history, presenting Richard III as a monster, eliminating Richard IV's reign from the history books. In reality, Duke of York, one of the Princes in the Tower, was only twelve years old when the Battle of Bosworth Field took place in 1485, thus too young to have had two adult sons. Henry Tudor also falsified the history of Scotland and Ireland, Richard IV is said to be king of England and Ireland, Prince Edmund has the title of Duke of Edinburgh. Ireland was not a kingdom until 1542 and Scotland continued to have a separate royal house until 1603; the episodes in this series, written by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, were shown on BBC One on Wednesday evenings, 21:25 – 22:00. Each episode ran for 33 minutes; the series began on 15 June 1983. Each of the episodes was based on a medieval theme — the Wars of the Roses, the Crusades and Royal succession, the conflict between the Crown and the Church, arranged marriages between monarchies, the Plague and witchcraft.
The final episode follows a planned coup d'état. The series was broadcast shortly after the BBC Television Shakespeare productions of Shakespeare's four plays about the Wars of the Roses, the three-part Henry VI plays, followed by Richard III, first shown on 23 January 1983; some of the same actors were used to enhance the parody of Shakespearean history. Ron Cook, who played Richard III in the Shakespeare productions, is cast as the villainous "Sean the Irish Bastard". Peter Benson, who played Shakespeare's Henry VI, played Henry VII in the first episode. In this series, the character of the Black Adder is somewhat different from incarnations, being unintelligent and snivelling; the character does evolve through the series, he begins showing signs of what his descendants will be like by the final episode, where he begins insulting everyone around him and making his own plans. This evolution follows from the character's situation. "The Black Adder" is the title th
Lady Margaret Beaufort
Lady Margaret Beaufort was the mother of King Henry VII and paternal grandmother of King Henry VIII of England. She was a key figure in an influential matriarch of the House of Tudor, she is credited with the establishment of two prominent Cambridge colleges, founding Christ's College in 1505 and beginning the development of St John's College, completed posthumously by her executors in 1511. Lady Margaret Hall, the first Oxford college to admit women, is named after her and has a statue of her in the college chapel, she was the daughter and sole heiress of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, a great-grandson of King Edward III through his third surviving son, John of Gaunt by Katherine Swynford. Margaret was born at Bletsoe Castle, Bedfordshire, on either 31 May 1441 or, more on 31 May 1443; the day and month are not disputed, as she required Westminster Abbey to celebrate her birthday on 31 May. The year of her birth is more uncertain. William Dugdale, the 17th-century antiquary, suggested that she may have been born in 1441, based on evidence of inquisitions post mortem taken after the death of her father.
Dugdale has been followed by a number of Margaret's biographers. At the moment of her birth, Margaret's father was preparing to go to France and lead an important military expedition for King Henry VI. Somerset negotiated with the king to ensure that in case of his death the rights to Margaret's wardship and marriage would be granted only to his wife; as a tenant-in-chief of the crown the wardship of his heir fell to the crown under the feudal system. Somerset fell out with the king after coming back from France and was banished from the royal court pending a charge of treason against him, he died shortly afterwards. According to Thomas Basin, Somerset died of illness, but the Crowland Chronicle reported that his death was suicide. Margaret, as his only child, was heiress to his fortune. Upon her first birthday, the king broke the arrangement with Margaret's father and granted the wardship of her extensive lands to William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, although Margaret herself remained in the custody of her mother.
Margaret's mother was pregnant at the time of Somerset's death, but the child did not survive and Margaret remained the sole heir. Although she was her father's only legitimate child, Margaret had two maternal half-brothers and three maternal half-sisters from her mother's first marriage whom she supported after her son's accession to the throne. Margaret was married to John de la Pole; the wedding may have been held between 28 January and 7 February 1444, when she was a year old but no more than three. However, there is more evidence to suggest they were married in January 1450, after Suffolk had been arrested and was looking to secure his son's future. Papal dispensation was granted on 18 August 1450, necessary because the spouses were too related, this concurs with the date of marriage. Margaret never recognised this marriage. Three years the marriage was dissolved and King Henry VI granted Margaret's wardship to his own half-brothers and Edmund Tudor. In her will, made in 1472, Margaret refers to Edmund Tudor as her first husband.
Under canon law, Margaret was not bound by the marriage contract as she was entered into the marriage before reaching the age of twelve. Before the annulment of her first marriage, Henry VI chose Margaret as a bride for his half-brother, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond. Edmund was the eldest son of Catherine of Valois, by Owen Tudor. Margaret was 12 when she married the 24-year-old Edmund Tudor on 1 November 1455; the Wars of the Roses had just broken out. He died of the plague in captivity at Carmarthen on 3 November 1456, leaving a 13-year-old widow, seven months pregnant with their child. Taken into the care of her brother-in-law Jasper, at Pembroke Castle, the Countess gave birth on 28 January 1457 to her only child, Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII of England; the birth was difficult. She never gave birth again. Margaret and her son remained in Pembroke until the York triumphs of 1461 saw the castle pass to Lord Herbert of Raglan. From the age of two, Henry lived with his father's family in Wales, from the age of fourteen, he lived in exile in France.
During this period, the relationship between mother and son was sustained by letters and a few visits. The Countess always respected the memory of Edmund as the father of her only child. In 1472, sixteen years after his death, Margaret specified in her will that she wanted to be buried alongside Edmund though she had enjoyed a long and close relationship with her third husband, who had died in 1471. On 3 January 1458, the teenaged Margaret married Sir Henry Stafford, son of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham. A dispensation for the marriage, necessary because Margaret and Stafford were second cousins, was granted on 6 April 1457; the Countess enjoyed a long and harmonious marital relationship during her marriage to Stafford and they were given somewhat ruinous Woking Palace where Margaret sometimes retreated and which she restored. Margaret and her husband were given 400 marks' worth of land by Buckingham, but Margaret's own estates were still the main source of income, their marriage bore no children.
In 1471, Stafford
Elizabeth Woodville was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Edward IV from 1464 until his death in 1483. At the time of her birth, her family was mid-ranked in the English aristocracy. Elizabeth's first marriage was to a minor supporter of the House of Lancaster, Sir John Grey of Groby, her second marriage, to Edward IV, was a cause célèbre of the day, thanks to Elizabeth's great beauty and lack of great estates. Edward was the first king of England since the Norman Conquest to marry one of his subjects, Elizabeth was the first such consort to be crowned queen, her marriage enriched her siblings and children, but their advancement incurred the hostility of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick,'The Kingmaker', his various alliances with the most senior figures in the divided royal family. This hostility turned into open discord between King Edward and Warwick, leading to a battle of wills that resulted in Warwick switching allegiance to the Lancastrian cause, to the execution of Elizabeth's father Richard Woodville in 1469.
After the death of her husband in 1483 Elizabeth remained politically influential after her son proclaimed King Edward V of England, was deposed by her brother-in-law, Richard III. Edward and his younger brother Richard both disappeared soon afterwards and are presumed to have been murdered on Richard's orders. Elizabeth would subsequently play an important role in securing the accession of Henry VII in 1485. Henry married her daughter Elizabeth of York, ended the Wars of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty. Through her daughter, Elizabeth was the grandmother of the future Henry VIII. Elizabeth was forced to yield pre-eminence to Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, her influence on events in these years, her eventual departure from court into retirement, remains obscure. Elizabeth Woodville was born about 1437 in October, at Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, she was the first-born child of a unequal marriage between Sir Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg, which scandalised the English court.
The Woodvilles, though an old and respectable family, were gentry rather than noble, a landed and wealthy family that had produced commissioners of the peace, MPs rather than peers of the realm. In about 1452, Elizabeth Woodville married Sir John Grey of Groby, the heir to the Barony Ferrers of Groby, he was killed at the Second Battle of St Albans in 1461. This would become a source of irony, since Elizabeth's future husband Edward IV was the Yorkist claimant to the throne. Elizabeth Woodville's two sons from this first marriage were Richard. Elizabeth Woodville was called "the most beautiful woman in the Island of Britain" with "heavy-lidded eyes like those of a dragon." Edward IV had many mistresses, the best known of them being Jane Shore, he did not have a reputation for fidelity. His marriage to the widowed Elizabeth Woodville took place secretly and, though the date is not known, it is traditionally said to have taken place at her family home in Northamptonshire on 1 May 1464. Only the bride's mother and two ladies were in attendance.
Edward married her just over three years after he had assumed the English throne in the wake of his overwhelming victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton, which resulted in the displacement of King Henry VI. Elizabeth Woodville was crowned queen on 26 the Sunday after Ascension Day. In the early years of his reign, Edward IV's governance of England was dependent upon a small circle of supporters, most notably his cousin, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. At around the time of Edward IV's secret marriage, Warwick was negotiating an alliance with France in an effort to thwart a similar arrangement being made by his sworn enemy Margaret of Anjou, wife of the deposed Henry VI; the plan was. When his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, both a commoner and from a family of Lancastrian supporters, became public, Warwick was both embarrassed and offended, his relationship with Edward IV never recovered; the match was badly received by the Privy Council, who according to Jean de Waurin told Edward with great frankness that "he must know that she was no wife for a prince such as himself".
With the arrival on the scene of the new queen came many relatives, some of whom married into the most notable families in England. Three of her sisters married the sons of the earls of Kent and Pembroke. Another sister, Catherine Woodville, married the queen's 11-year-old ward Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, who joined Edward IV's brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, in opposition to the Woodvilles after the death of Edward IV. Elizabeth's 20-year-old brother John married Katherine, Duchess of Norfolk; the Duchess had been widowed three times and was in her sixties, which created a scandal at court. Elizabeth's son from her first marriage, Thomas Grey, married Cecily Bonville, 7th Baroness Harington; when Elizabeth Woodville's relatives her brother Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers, began to challenge Warwick's pre-eminence in English political society, Warwick conspired with his son-in-law George, Duke of Clarence, the king's younger brother. One of his followers accused Elizabeth Woodville's mother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, of practising witchcraft.
She was acquit
Elizabeth of York
Elizabeth of York was the wife of Henry VII, thus the first Tudor queen. She was the daughter of Edward IV and his wife Elizabeth Woodville, niece of Richard III, she married Henry VII in 1486, after being detained by him the previous year following the latter's victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field, which started the last phase of the Wars of the Roses. Together and Henry had a total of four sons, three of whom died before their father, leaving their brother, Henry VIII, to succeed his father as king; the period of Henry VI's Readeption from October 1470 until April 1471 and the period between her father's death in 1483, when she was 17, the making of peace between her mother and her uncle Richard, were violent and anxious interludes in what was a peaceful life. Her two brothers, the so-called "Princes in the Tower", their fate uncertain. Although declared illegitimate by an act of Parliament, Titulus Regius in 1484, she was subsequently welcomed back to court by her uncle Richard III, along with all of her sisters.
As a Yorkist princess, the final victory of the Lancastrian faction in the War of the Roses may have seemed a further disaster, but Henry Tudor knew the importance of Yorkist support for his invasion and promised to marry her before he arrived in England. Elizabeth of York was the queen consort of England from 1486 until her death in 1503, but seems to have played little part in politics, her marriage seems to have been successful. Her eldest son Arthur, Prince of Wales, died at age 15 in 1502, three other children died young, her surviving son became king of England and her daughters Mary and Margaret became queen of France and queen of Scotland, respectively. Elizabeth of York was born at the Palace of Westminster as the eldest child of King Edward IV and his wife Elizabeth Woodville, her christening was celebrated at Westminster Abbey, sponsored by her grandmothers Jacquetta of Luxembourg, Duchess of Bedford, Cecily Neville, Duchess of York. Her third sponsor was her cousin Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.
At three, she was betrothed to George Neville in 1469. His father John supported George's uncle, the Earl of Warwick, in rebellion against King Edward IV, the betrothal was called off. In 1475, Louis XI agreed to the marriage of 9-year-old Elizabeth of York and his son Charles, the Dauphin of France. In 1482, Louis XI reneged on his promise. At age 11, she was named a Lady of the Garter in 1477, along with her mother and her paternal aunt Elizabeth of York, Duchess of Suffolk. On 9 April 1483, Elizabeth's father, King Edward IV, unexpectedly died and her younger brother, Edward V, ascended to the throne, her mother, Elizabeth Woodville, tried to deny Gloucester his right to be Lord Protector in order to keep power within her family, so Gloucester opted to take steps to isolate his nephews from their Woodville relations. He intercepted Edward V while the latter was travelling from Ludlow, where he had been living as Prince of Wales, to London to be crowned king. Edward V was placed in the royal residence of the Tower of London, ostensibly for his protection.
Elizabeth Woodville fled with her younger son Richard and her daughters, taking sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. Gloucester asked Archbishop Bourchier to take Richard with him, so the boy could reside in the Tower and keep his brother Edward company. Elizabeth Woodville, under duress agreed. Two months on 22 June 1483, Edward IV's marriage was declared invalid, it was claimed that Edward IV had, at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville been betrothed to Lady Eleanor Butler. Parliament issued Titulus Regius, in support of this position; this measure bastardised the children of Edward IV, made them ineligible for the succession, declared Gloucester the rightful king, with the right of succession reverting to children of George, 1st Duke of Clarence, another late brother of Gloucester, attainted in 1478. Gloucester ascended to the throne as Richard III on 6 July 1483, with Edward and Richard disappearing shortly afterwards. Rumours began to spread that they had been murdered, these appear to have been widely credited though some undoubtedly emanated from overseas.
Elizabeth's mother made an alliance with Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry Tudor King Henry VII, who had the closest claim to the throne of those in the Lancastrian party. Although Henry Tudor was descended from King Edward III, his claim to the throne was weak, owing to an act of parliament passed during the reign of Richard II in the 1390s, that barred accession to the throne to any heirs of the legitimised offspring of Henry's great-great grandparents, John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford. Whether such an unprecedented act had force of law is, disputed. Whatever the merits of Henry's claim, his mother and Elizabeth Woodville agreed he should move to claim the throne and, once he had taken it, marry Elizabeth of York to unite the two rival houses. In December 1483, in the cathedral of Rennes, Henry Tudor swore an oath promising to marry her and began planning an invasion. In 1484, Elizabeth of York and her sisters left Westminster Abbey and returned to court when Elizabeth Woodville was reconciled with Richard III, which may – or may not – suggest that Elizabeth Woodville believed Richard III to be innocent of any possible role in the murder of her two sons (although this is unlikely owing to her in
The Tudor rose is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the House of Tudor, which united the House of York and House of Lancaster. The Tudor rose consists of five white inner petals, representing the House of York, five red outer petals to represent the House of Lancaster; when Henry VII took the crown of England from Richard III in battle, he brought the end of the retrospectively dubbed "Wars of the Roses" between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. Henry's father was Edmund Tudor from the House of Richmond, his mother was Margaret Beaufort from the House of Lancaster; the white rose. The historian Thomas Penn writes: The "Lancastrian" red rose was an emblem that existed before Henry VII. Lancastrian kings used the rose sporadically, but when they did it was gold rather than red. Contemporaries did not refer to the traumatic civil conflict of the 15th century as the "Wars of the Roses". For the best part of a quarter-century, from 1461 to 1485, there was only one royal rose, it was white: the badge of Edward IV.
The roses were created after the war by Henry VII. On his marriage, Henry VII adopted the Tudor rose badge conjoining the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster; the Tudor rose is seen divided in quarters and vertically red and white. More the Tudor rose is depicted as a double rose, white on red and is always described, heraldically, as "proper". During his reign, Henry VIII had the legendary "Round Table" at Winchester Castle – believed to be genuine – repainted; the new paint scheme included. Though previous to this, his father Henry VII had built a chapel at Westminster Abbey dedicated to himself and it was decorated principally with the Tudor rose and the Beaufort portcullis – as a form of propaganda to define his claim to the throne; the Tudor rose badge may appear slipped and crowned: shown as a cutting with a stem and leaves beneath a crown. The Tudor rose may appear dimidiated to form a compound badge; the Westminster Tournament Roll includes a badge of Henry and his first wife Catherine of Aragon with a slipped Tudor rose conjoined with Catherine's personal badge, the pomegranate.
James I of England and VI of Scotland used a badge consisting of a Tudor rose dimidiated with a thistle and surmounted by a royal crown. The crowned and slipped Tudor Rose is used as the plant badge of England, as Scotland uses the thistle, Ireland uses the shamrock, Wales uses the leek; as such, it is seen on the dress uniforms of the Yeomen Warders at the Tower of London, of the Yeomen of the Guard. It features in the design of the British Twenty Pence coin minted between 1982 and 2008, in the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, it features on the coat of arms of Canada. The Tudor rose, it is notably used as the symbol of the English Tourist Board. And as part of the badge of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the Tudor Rose is used as the emblem of the Nautical Training Corps, a uniformed youth organisation founded in Brighton in 1944 with 20 units in South East England. The Corps badge has the Tudor Rose on the shank of an anchor with the motto "For God and Country", it is used as part of the Corps' cap badge.
The Tudor Rose is prominent in a number of towns and cities. The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, uses the emblem due to the town being given Royal Town status by King Henry VIII; the borough of Queens in New York City uses a Tudor Rose on its seal. The Tudor rose was used in the coat of arms of Count of Schaumburg-Lippe; the city of York, South Carolina is nicknamed "The White Rose City", the nearby city of Lancaster, South Carolina is nicknamed "The Red Rose City". Flag of England Red Rose of Lancaster Tudor dynasty Wars of the Roses White Rose of York Royal Badges of England Floral emblem Boutell, Charles. C. Fox-Davies; the Handbook to English Heraldry. London: Reeves and Turner. OCLC 2034334. Fox-Davies, A. C.. The Art of Heraldry: An Encyclopædia of Armory. London and Edinburgh: T C and E C Jack. Fox-Davies, A. C.. Heraldic Badges. London: John Lane. OCLC 4897294. Fox-Davies, A. C.. A Complete Guide to Heraldry. London and Edinburgh: T C and E C Jack. OCLC 474004850. Starkey, David. Henry – Virtuous Prince.
London: Harper. ISBN 0-00-729263-5. Wise, Terence. Medieval Heraldry. Osprey. ISBN 0-85045-348-8. Tudor Rose in SF Presidio, CH+D Magazine