Maybe she believed there was no truth in them; but if there was doubt in her mind, then soon the realization would have followed that she faced a massive conflict of interests in marrying the man who occupied the throne to which they had a better claim, and that his hold on it—not to mention her own position—might then prove precarious. But it may be that her brothers were never far from her mind, and that the possibility of their survival was to haunt her for many years to come.
During this Parliament the King rewarded those who had served him loyally and helped him to win the crown. Henry Tudor had triumphed. This tuning was the marriage between the King and Elizabeth. Elizabeth had been legitimated, and a dispensation for her marriage to the King could be applied for.
He clearly did not want it to be thought that their union was a matter of political necessity. Elizabeth did not know it, but Maximilian of Austria had his sights on her as a bride. His late wife, Mary of Burgundy, had a claim to the throne of England through her grandmother, Isabella of Portugal, a descendant of John of Gaunt, which Charles the Bold had unsuccessfully asserted in Now Maximilian began entertaining the idea of marrying Elizabeth, which he felt would be sufficient to make good his claim.
42 Regal Facts About Elizabeth of York, The First Tudor Queen
Possibly she regarded Henry as the chivalrous knight errant who had rescued her and her family from the slur of bastardy and the clutches of the man who had spurned her. Gigli imagines her agonizing:.
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Gigli then presents a touching picture of Elizabeth whiling away the waiting time, longing for Henry to name the day:. This reads convincingly, for we know from her privy purse expenses how frequently Elizabeth made offerings at shrines, especially in times of stress. Her fears were soon to be allayed. The rumbles of discontent about her delayed nuptials could be ignored no longer.
Parliament wanted her for Queen consort and was keen to see the King honor his vow to wed her. Given the abysmal history of the warring royal houses over the past thirty years, marriage to the Yorkist heiress was probably the most profitable match he could have made, with peace being far more crucial to the future welfare of his kingdom than a fat foreign dowry—and it was surely what he had intended all along. It is highly unlikely that he had ever seriously contemplated marrying anyone else.
Book review: Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen, By Alison Weir | The Independent
He was aware that marriage with Elizabeth was a political necessity if he wanted to secure the loyalty of the Yorkists, and that, if he did not fulfill his vow to wed her, and thus publicly humiliated her, he risked alienating the many people who saw her as the true successor of the Plantagenets. But there was more to it than that, on both sides. Loving him, she was all the more prepared to mold herself to what he wanted her to be, especially now that her hopes of a crown were to be fulfilled. From that day, Elizabeth was treated as Queen of England.
So great is her virtue, and her character so fine, that she certainly seems to have been preserved by divine will from the time of her birth right up until today to be consort and Queen. On January 14, at Westminster, the couple appointed proctors, who presented their petition to the legate in the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin in St. It was now five months since the King had emerged triumphant at Bosworth. Surprisingly, no detailed account survives, which may be because the ceremony took place in the greater privacy of St. The bridegroom was twenty-nine, the bride nearly twenty.
Her grandmother, Cecily, Duchess of York, did not attend, but Henry VII evidently approved of her, as in he granted her an annuity and renewed her license to export wool. It suggests, however, the kind of jewels that Elizabeth might have worn:. It was not customary then for a bride to be wholly attired in white—that was a tradition begun centuries later by Queen Victoria—but for her to wear the richest materials.
It was her flowing hair, threaded with jewels, not the color of her clothes, that proclaimed her virginity. Henry was gorgeously attired in cloth of gold. Then everyone, men and women, prayed to God that the King and Queen might have a prosperous and happy issue. But now the royal pair were one, and a child, Gigli predicted, would shortly gambol in the royal halls, and grow up a worthy son of the King, emulating the noble qualities of his parents and perpetuating their name in his illustrious descendants forever.
Inevitably, much was made of this union of the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster, which was seen as symbolizing the end of the conflict between the two royal houses. Most English people believed that the royal wedding would bring an end to the civil wars and herald a new era of peace and stability; consequently it was very popular, and it won for Henry Tudor the loyalty of many who had supported the House of York.
The nuptial union of Lancaster and York was a continuing theme in Tudor propaganda. More than a century later the union was still being extolled, indeed, immortalized, by Shakespeare in Richard III :.
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- Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen by Alison Weir.
After the wedding, the King and his new Queen presided over a lavish nuptial feast, at which the guests dined on roasted peacocks, swans, larks, and quails, followed by sugared almonds and fruit tarts. It is often claimed that a medal now in the British Museum was struck to commemorate the marriage, embellished with images of the happy couple holding hands; the man wears a garland of roses on his head, while the woman is shown crowned, with her wavy hair loose, as betokened a virgin bride and queen.
She wears a round-necked gown beneath a mantle, and a heavy cross suspended from a pearl necklace. Yet there is no evidence that Gossaert ever visited England, and his style is very different. The setting is an imaginary church, and the attire of the bride appears to date from the late sixteenth century, while the other figures wear late-fifteenth-century dress.
Brown around , hangs in Blackpool Town Hall. Behind the massive four-poster bed was a mural dating from that time, showing the coronation of Edward the Confessor in faded red, blue, silver, and gold, and on the walls were huge paintings of Biblical battles. There was a great fireplace in the room, but even so the Painted Chamber must have been difficult to heat in January, and the palace was notoriously damp.
Fortunately, the bed curtains would have afforded a degree of intimacy. The white and red roses of York and Lancaster combined were from the first the chief symbol of this union, and of the new dynasty. Henry was actively to promote it. The great rose window in the south transept of York Minster, with its intertwined red and white roses, commemorates the marriage of the founders of the Tudor dynasty. The King had the Tudor rose incorporated into the collar of the garter insignia, and it became customary to surround the royal arms with a garland of Tudor roses.
A political poem of acknowledged that: His title is fallen to our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth, his eldest daughter lineal; To her is come all the whole monarchy, For the fourth Edward had no issue male. The crown therefore and sceptre imperial Both she must have without division. Gigli imagines her agonizing: Oh, my beloved! My hope, my only bliss!
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Why then defer my joy? Fairest of kings, Whence your delay to light our bridal torch? Our noble House contains two persons now, But one in mind, in equal love the same.
And now she seeks the fanes [temples] and hallowed shrines Of deities propitious to her suit, Imploring them to shorten her suspense, That she may in auspicious moment know The holy name of bride. It suggests, however, the kind of jewels that Elizabeth might have worn: Your hymeneal torches now unite And keep them ever pure. O royal maid, Put on your regal robes in loveliness. A thousand fair attendants round you wait, Of various ranks, with different offices, To deck your beauteous form.
Ever-honoured and auspicious day, When in blest wedlock to a mighty king, To Henry, bright Elizabeth is joined. So here the most illustrious maid of York, Deficient nor in virtue nor descent, Most beautiful in form, whose matchless face Adorned with most enchanting sweetness shines. Others would see orders carried out for her, but she still had a large household to budget for and keep in order.
This does not seem to have been one of her strong suits, with her love of fine garments and generosity toward others often leaving her going to Henry for extra funds. Other duties that may have filled these early sun-filled hours could be sewing and embroidering. Making use of good natural light was important to Tudor era wives who would not wish to strain their eyes sewing by candlelight. Elizabeth and her ladies-in-waiting would work on altar cloths, simple garments to be given to the poor, and fancier items for themselves and their families.
This time was also social as the women chatted while they worked and possibly listened to one of their number play music or read from Scripture. If a move of court was in the near future, Elizabeth would need to organise and direct the packing of her household.
Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen by Alison Weir
Frequent moves ensured that palaces were thoroughly cleaned, rushes replaced, and disease avoided. Therefore, Elizabeth would need to determine what furniture, clothing, and other goods would go with her, what would stay, and what would be sent to another location, such as the Tower of London , for storage. When Elizabeth joined him, she would be dressed and bejewelled, possibly with a crown atop her loose red-gold hair.