Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Y is for York GLORIANA! The ABC's of the Reign of Our Most Gracious Sovereign, Elizabeth

Elizabeth of York was thirty-eight years old when she died.
To make matters worse, the day she died was her birthday.
The cause of death was 'complications from childbirth.' 
Having a child at the relatively late-years age of thirty-eight was considered risky back in 1503; Elizabeth of York gave her own life trying to provide England with one more male heir for the throne. 
... Baby-boy-Cotton-Crochet-crown-newborn-baby-photography-prop-baby
Elizabeth of York and her husband Henry VII were paternal grandparents of Elizabeth I.
Elizabeth of York, 
Elizabeth of York - White Yorkist rose in hand.

daughter of a king (Edward IV) and sister of a king (Edward V - although he vanished - POOF! into thin air before his twelve-year-old head ever wore a crown) was also niece to a king (Richard III.)
Richard III was once believed to be a murderous hunchback but his ...
Post-garage years Ricard III and pre-garage years Richard III.
Her family line had worn thin their welcome once Uncle Awful Richard placed himself on the throne following the death of his brother, Edward IV.

Henry Tudor, whose family line was pretty skinny on a claim to the throne, more than made up for his lack of credentials when he and his backers invaded England and marched across the land to play a game of high stakes - war with a crown for the victor. 
Henry Tudor's  bold strike at Richard III wavered at the eleven o'clock hour on the battlefield - Henry's standard bearer:
Standard bearer = the guy with the banner
was 'cut down' (meaning Richard III's troops were thisclose to offing Henry.)

Henry's stepfather, who watched the battle without getting involved until he saw which way the wind was gonna blow, chose that instant to send in his own men to defend young Tudor.
Richard III was savagely mutilated.
That's all gonna leave a mark. . .
Henry's stepfather put the crown (which someone found under a bush) on Henry's noggin, and voila - England had a new king.
Kani WeBlog: 'It's Good To Be King' Shirt
By marrying Elizabeth of York, Henry VII gave the Yorkists a family member on the throne, so they couldn't beef about not being represented; after all, the children born to the king and queen would have that lovely Yorkist blue blood in their veins.

Henry VII did away with the two families whose squabbles had freaked out the citizens of England for years.
Hilarious Photos of People Freaking Out at a Haunted House
"We can't take the fighting for another minute!!"
He'd gotten rid of the stink of murder hanging around the throne; Richard III took the fall for the disappearance of Edward V (and his little spare brother.) 
Henry VII taxed the absolute shit out of the nobility and the gentry to keep them so busy trying to come up with the dough to pay their ever-rising fees and penalties they didn't have time to revolt against their king.
(And, face it, who doesn't like seeing rich people take it in the shorts?)

So far, Henry VII and Elizabeth of York were perfection in a royal couple.
What followed was . . . an heir, of course.
Ralph Harris: Yeah, Baby!
First-born son . . . YES!
Queen Elizabeth produced a healthy baby boy eight  nine months after her wedding.

She went on to have: Margaret, Henry, 
Henry VIII as a boy, c.1499/1500 | by Guido Mazzoni
Oh, hi there. . . I'm Henry. But you can call me Bluff Prince Hal.
and Mary.
While Henry VII and Prince Arthur spent every waking moment together so that the prince could learn how to run a kingdom, Margaret, Henry and Mary grew up in a household run by their mother and their paternal grandmother.
Henry's mother, Margaret Beaufort, was tough, organized, and ruthless.
Elizabeth of York (wisely) didn't challenge her mother-in-law on anything; she didn't back down from her but she didn't confront her, either.
A state of mutual respect and support seems to have existed between the two women. 
Weighing scales 2 Illustration of weighing scales with equal balance ...
Equal doses of respect and support.

In their female-dominated household, there were no hard lessons for the girls or the 'spare.' 
Instead, the three younger Tudor children grew up in a household less masculine and harsh, and more feminine and gentle.
Elizabeth of York carved a happy childhood for her three younger children; privileged and filled with training all three would require to fulfill their future rules as members of the royal family.

Prince Arthur died, aged just fifteen, of a lung ailment.
The shock of his death nearly broke both of his parents; but   Elizabeth of York told her husband they should try for one more son - just to put the minds of the nation at ease around the topic of succession. 

She became pregnant.
She gave birth to a baby girl.
She died within days.
The little girl also died shortly after her mother.

Elizabeth of York left her own loyal, steadfast, gentle imprint on history.
She grew up in a land torn by infighting; that infighting led to her brothers disappearance in the Tower of London.
She witnessed her uncle's treachery when he took over the throne, having offed the twelve-year-old rightful heir.
She lived through the turbulent times and peaceful times. 
Her marriage to Henry VII may have been run by his strong-willed mother, but the impact of a dominant mother-in-law calling the shots doesn't seem to have distressed her.

Her granddaughter was named for her; and her granddaughter turned out to be the greatest Tudor of them all. 
Elizabeth I Coronation Portrait

As legacies go, that's not bad.
Not bad at all. 

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