Wednesday 6 July 2011

The Coronation of Richard III

         Given my great love of Richard III, it seems only appropriate that I announce that today was his coronation. Instead of his young nephew being crowned as Edward V, Richard was made king of England. The victory was brief, though, for he was killed in battle on 22 August 1485.   
          On 6 July 1483, Richard III was crowned king of England. It was a double coronation, as Richard's wife Anne Neville was also crowned queen. Richard's coronation was kind of a surprise, as no one had really foreseen him being the successor to his brother Edward IV. Edward IV had died in April 1483, and various coronation dates were proposed for his son, Edward V. Originally, Edward V's coronation was supposed to take place in May, but that didn't happen, so June was suggested. Before June was over, Edward IV's marriage to his queen, Elizabeth Woodville, was declared invalid (officially on account of Edward already being married when he married Elizabeth), and their children bastards. This whole series of bastard-declaring seems really strange to modern people because medieval marriage laws were rather different and incredibly detailed. In any event, Richard's nephew was a bastard and with no other legally-suitable heirs, Richard was going to be king. All of this was decided in late June, leaving just a few weeks for the nobles of England to assemble. Not everyone attended the coronation, but many did. Richard became Richard III and started down his path of epic villainy.

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