The Windsor Wedding, and a look back at Richard III and the fall of the House of York
I have lost any interest I once may have had in the present British Royal Family; in fact, I think Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles are actively devoted to the destruction of what is left of Britain, so I am opposed to the Windsor lineage and think Britain would do well to replace them. I have, accordingly, paid no attention to the wedding. But a friend who takes great interest in the Royals tells me she was up at 5 a.m. this morning and saw the whole thing, and that it was splendid—Christian and traditional and done in the finest manner all the way. No female priests were seen.
No matter how decadent the British are in substance, they still have the ability to put on a great ritual, and that says something.
Laura Wood writes approvingly and at more length about the Royal Wedding, here.
By the way, this is, as far as I can remember, the first time that a British king or a prince in line for the throne has married a commoner since Edward IV of the House of York married Elizabeth Woodville in the late 15th century, with rather large and negative consequences. After Edward’s death at age 40 in 1483, the marriage was declared non-existent by the parliament because of a previous betrothal Edward had made with another woman. The effect was to remove Edward and Elizabeth’s two sons, then aged 12 and 9 (the older being King Edward V) from the succession and to allow Richard of York, the younger brother of Edward, to be made King Richard III. The boys, held in the Tower of London, which was then a Royal Castle, subsequently disappeared and were presumed murdered.
From Richard’s point of view, as told in Paul Murray Kendall’s Richard the Third (1955), an account of the entire period of the Wars of the Roses and one of the most interesting books I have ever read, Richard had no choice but to push the boys aside. The reason was that after the death of Edward, the Woodville family began reaching for power over the state and were intending to kill Richard in order to attain it. In my view, whether Richard was responsible for the subsequent murder of the boys, once he had successfully deposed his nephew, is an open question. There are reasoned arguments on both sides of the issue. In any case, the disappearance of the boys predictably outraged England (a strong reason that Richard, an intelligent man, would not have had them killed) and led to the uprising against Richard led by Henry Tudor. Henry’s forces defeated and killed Richard at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, the second and last time since the Conquest that an English king was killed in battle, bringing to an end the 331 year long reign of the Plantagenet line and inaugurating the Tudor despotism.
Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, had a distant sideways descent from Edward III, the long-lived king of the 14th century, but no basis in lineage for his claim to the monarchy. His claim was openly based on the brutal fact that having killed Richard III he was now sitting on the throne of England. The Tudor line was thus, from its very inception, based on pure power, not on any traditional notion of legitimacy. The reign of pure power was expanded by Henry VII’s son Henry VIII, the first true modern style despot in Western history.
One of the marks of Henry VIII’s despotic type of government was the pamphlet about Richard III he had written by Sir Thomas More, which portrayed Richard as a monstrous hunchback and drooling assassin. Through Shakespeare’s play, More’s horribly false picture of Richard forever established the world’s image of him. In reality, Richard was a normal,—and, as we can see from the only living portrait of him—thoughtful, introspective, and comely man. The style of government by unrelenting character assassination of political opponents, begun by Henry VIII, is still a distinguishing feature of modern politics and particularly of the modern left.
One of the lessons of the story being, if the easy-going Edward IV had not married into the grasping Woodville family, whose reach for power required Richard, in simple self-defense, to depose and imprison his nephew, the disastrous fall of the Yorkist monarchy, and, one could argue, of medieval England itself, would not have occurred.
Ron L. writes:
I certainly hope His and Her Royal Highness, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, tidings of joy and plenty on the occurrence of their wedding. However what is the point of following the Royal Wedding? The German imports sit pretty as the UK loses its sovereignty and heritage. They smiled as Labour purposely imported aliens for political reasons and to end unity and common culture in the UK. The titular head of the Church of England sits on her powdered behind as the Church becomes a gay multicultural dead zone.LA replies:
Ron’s last points go too far. But I am in complete agreement that the current Royal Family is on board with the destruction of England by Diversity.LA writes:
I initially wrote that Richard III was the only Engish king who was killed on the field of battle. That was not correct, and I’ve changed it. Richard I also died in battle, while beseiging a castle in France. Also, I was speaking of kings since the Conquest, not of the Anglo-Saxon kings.LA writes:
Here is the portrait of Richard that appears in the frontispiece of Kendall’s book, which many people now believe is the most genuine portrait. In it, Richard is sensitive, thoughtful, and troubled. It was this sympathetic and engaging portrait which launched the modern re-evaluation of Richard, starting with Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time.
However, another writer, Frederic Hepburn, argues that the “nice” portrait was made a hundred years after Richard’s death.
Anita K. writes from Canada:
The talk about Richard reminds me of a book I read a long time ago, which remains worthwhile: the detective story The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey.LA replies:
He has not been exonerated. That is not correct. It is still entirely possible that he had his nephews killed. We don’t know the truth. There are various theories, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In my view, it is more likely that the Duke of Buckingham had them killed, without Richard’s knowledge. But that is one view, not established fact.Anita K. replies:
Well, Mr. Auster, Miss Tey was not the only one, and she gave some good evidence, one of the items being the people saying:LA replies:
You’re ignoring the fact that Richard had his nephews, one of whom was King Edward V, imprisoned in a Royal Castle, then he had the Parliament on a rather strained basis declare them illegitimate and strip them of the right of succession to the throne; and then, some time later, still being held in the Tower of London, they were murdered. To say that Richard had no motive whatsoever for murdering them, and that there was no evidence whatsoever for his murdering them (he had deposed and imprisoned them, and he had become King in their stead, and they were still in prison and in his power), is a weak argument.May 5
William A. writes:
As a Ricardian of long standing, I was delighted to see your recent post about the last Plantagenet King. There’s one additional comment I would like to make.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 29, 2011 04:28 PM | Send