• Edward, Prince of Wales: Hey, Uncle Richard, guess what?
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester: I despise guessing games.
  • Edward: I’m gonna be King of England.
  • Richard: Oh, goody.
  • Edward: My dad just showed me the whole kingdom. And I’m gonna rule it all. Heheh.
  • Richard: Yes. Well, forgive me for not leaping for joy. Bad back, you know.

‘He is of the House of York and my father loved him and taught him like a son. And, as it happens, he is heir to the throne after George, but more beloved than George, and more steadfast and loyal than George. If you were going to pick one of the York boys it would be George for looks, Edward for charm, but it would be Richard for loyalty.’


Large (Yale)

I’ve already written about Edwin Austin Abbey’s illustration of Hamlet, but his Shakespeare illustrations are really too wonderful to stop at one.

This magnificently disgusting little thing is Richard Duke of Gloucester and the Lady Anne, painted in 1896 to illustrate a scene from Richard III.

After murdering two people—one of whom is Lady Anne’s husband, and the other of whom, her father-in-law, is here being carried to his grave—Richard proposes to Lady Anne.

At first, it goes about as you’d expect: as the Yale Art Gallery neatly summarizes, “Richard pleads his case and offers her a ring, asserting that he killed the two men in order to get near her…[but] Anne reacts with fury to his words.”

The contrast between Lady Anne’s closed fist and her open expression, though, presage the answer she’ll make to Richard’s command that she “Take up the sword again, or take up me.”

Though the red reflection on the tip of the blade hints at its murderous past, well—let’s just say, she doesn’t take the sword.


King Richard and his wife, Queen Anne Neville, were crowned together. This had only happened three times before. Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine had enjoyed a dual coronation on Sunday 19th December 1154, though they had perhaps not enjoyed their subsequent relationship quite as much. Edward I was crowned alongside Eleanor of Castille on 19th August 1274 and his son Edward II had his wife Isabella of France crowned beside him on 25th February 1308. The joint coronation of Richard and Anne was a first in 175 years.

This joint coronation of a settled, mature couple, Richard being 30 and Anne aged 27, promised much. They had a son to act as their heir. The omens were promising. This was something new at a time when the country did not want old problems.

The coronation set a precedent of spoiled indulgence that was soon to overflow into rebellion.