Fact of the day: 6th July

On this day in 1483 Richard III was crowned King of England.

Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485) was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field.

He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.

His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, symbolises the end of the middle ages in England.

He is the subject of the play Richard III by William Shakespeare.

When his brother Edward IV died in April 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward’s son and successor, the 12-year-old King Edward V.

As the young king travelled to London from Ludlow, Richard met and escorted him to lodgings in the Tower of London where Edward V’s brother Richard joined him shortly afterwards.

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Arrangements were made for Edward’s coronation on 22 June 1483, but before the young king could be crowned, his father’s marriage to his mother Elizabeth Woodville was declared invalid, making their children illegitimate and ineligible for the throne.

On 25 June, an assembly of lords and commoners endorsed the claims. The following day, Richard III began his reign, and he was crowned on 6 July 1483.

The young princes were not seen in public after August, and a number of accusations circulated that the boys had been murdered on Richard’s orders, giving rise to the legend of the Princes in the Tower.

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