Thursday, 9 April 2015

5 Fun Facts About Edward V

1. Edward V was born at Westminster Abbey on the 2nd November 1470. Although the Abbey is the usual burial place for British Monarchs, Edward was the first to be born there. His mother, Elizabeth Woodville, who was married to his father, King Edward IV, had taken sanctuary at the Abbey during the War of the Roses after Edward's father, Edward, had been dethroned. And that's not a term for being knocked off the toilet. Edward IV's Lancastrian enemy, Henry VI, had been briefly restored to the throne. The one in the palace, not the one in the toilet. A year later, Edward's father, Edward, returned to England from exile and knocked Henry VI off his toilet and retook the throne. After flushing, of course. Henry VI left one heck of a steaming dump in there.

2. Edward was created Prince of Wales in June 1471 and sent to Ludlow Castle, close to the border of Wales, to be educated. This mainly involved virtuous learning, such as reading noble stories of virtue, honour, cunning, wisdom and deeds of worship. Basically, teaching hedgehogs to perform circus tricks, such as acrobatics, the high-wire, and balancing on their noses whilst juggling. 

3. Edward became king at the age of 12 on the 9th April 1483 upon the death of his father, Edward IV. As the young king travelled to London, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Edward's uncle, met him half way to provide escort. Richard had been appointed Lord Protector, as Edward was too young to rule in his own right. But, Richard had plans, cunningly evil plans. He escorted Edward straight to the Tower of London, holding him there under pretence of protection, but in reality to secure his position before declaring Edward a bastard, making him out to be an illegitimate son of Edward IV and not a rightful king. What a complete and utter .... 

4. Edward V was one of the now famous "Princes in the Tower". The other was his younger brother, Richard. And with Edward safe and secure in the Tower of London, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, that's Edward's uncle Richard, not his brother, Richard, went and kidnapped Edward's younger brother Richard, who was the Duke of York, not the Duke of Gloucester. Okay, why has everyone got the same name? It gets confusing keeping track of who's who. Both princes, well, actually one was a prince the other a king, but I'm not getting into semantics, were now in the Tower. And that was the last anyone heard of them. Because Richard killed them. Although, I should point out, that some historians dispute that fact. They obviously didn't take into account that Richard was a complete and utter .... 

5. Edward V's reign as a king of England lasted just 86 days. And, at the age of 12, he is the shortest-lived male monarch in British history. In 1674, skeletal remains belonging to two children were found by workmen rebuilding a stairway in the Tower of London. King Charles II ordered they be placed in Westminster Abbey in an urn bearing the names of the two princes, I mean one prince and one king, Edward and Richard. It cannot be proven that the bones are those of the two princes, but they are, as Richard III killed them by suffocating them with a pillow, and then buried them beneath the staircase. Modern attempts by historians and scientists to examine the bones have been refused. So the mystery continues.

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