Elizabeth of York – The Book of Princes and Princesses


…it was a map of her destiny which he had cast from the stars, and that they had told him it was she who would one day wear the English crown.

“But my brother-but the Prince of Wales?” – asked Elizabeth who had much talk of the baby being heir to the throne.

“I know not,” he answered sadly; “But so it is written. No go back to the Queen, and mind, say nought of this, or it will give her sorely.

Today is the anniversary of the birth and the death of Elizabeth of York. She died at age 37, shortly after giving birth to Henry VII’s last child. I spent quite a lot of time with Elizabeth of York last year and just recently came across this story The White Rose in The Book of Princes and Princesses by children’s author Andrew Lang.

Lang has written a traditional tale, some based on the largely fictional Song of Lady Bessy. A Ricardian he was not. But there is much about Elizabeth of York that lends itself to romance and tragedy. Her childhood was fraught with uncertainty and her teenage years no less. She went from Princess, to Pauper, to Queen in the space of two years. And she became one of the most beloved Queen consorts in English history. Legend has it the Queen of Hearts playing card was based on Elizabeth of York. It would be a fitting tribute.

You can read the full text online at archive.org