The Role of a King or Why Richard III is so Intriguing


I agree with historian Dr. Ashdown-Hill (Interview / some of his research publications) that the question ‘if’ King Richard III killed his nephews cannot be the main focus of historical research, as it is not even certain that they were indeed killed.
Furthermore, there are quite some other parties in the political scenery of the time occupying themselves with intrigues and plots. Most of them had as much or more reason to get rid of the heirs of King Edward IV’s or at least abduct them to get them under their own custody.


Cecily Neville, Duchess of York

Cecily Neville, Duchess of York (Source:

  • King Richard III’s mother, Cecily Neville, who did not like her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Woodville and plotted against her eldest living son Edward IV during his reign and afterwards, to beware a succession of his ‘illegitimate’ children. She even went so far as to declare Edward IV himself as illegitimate, not because of the ‘adultery’ she sometimes was accused of, but because of his being born in Rouen. Some sources even go so far as to see her as the leading instigator of the discovery of the first marriage of King Edward IV, leading to the succession of King Richard III.
  • Henry Tudor, the known Lancastrian opponent and enemy of Richard III, who wanted to prevent a Yorkist ascension to the throne and might have wanted a pawn against King Richard III.
  • Nobles from the ‘South’, observing that Richard III supported Northerners in offices formerly entirely held by representatives of the South.
  • Richard III’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth Woodville and her large family, fearing that King Richard III might not adequately support their now ‘illegitimate’ members of the royal family.
  • Members of the administration, guards, nobility, etc. , trying to get a reward for their ‘helping’ in the matter.
  • Illnesses, as only 1 out of 5 children survived into adulthood during that time. For boys the chances to survive were even slightly less than for girls. If one remembers, that even appendicitis was a likely cause to die, the likeliness that the princes died in the Tower must remain a valid option as well, though there is the fact of a missing burial.
  • Even Richard III could have transferred or hidden the princes himself to get them out of the shooting line of all these intrigues around them and to leave them space to grow up.

You see there were so many parties with a large interest in getting rid of the princes, that it would have been a wonder if Richard III got to them first and that without leaving a clear trail of his deed.


What one can accuse Richard III of is, that he did not take better care of them or provide for them so that they could be abducted, murdered or have died under his custody. But as not even the cause of their disappearance is clear, to cast accusations is a bit premature.


As it is, King Richard III could not even prevent the death of his own son. Interesting in my opinion would be, what his own son died of and if that illness could have spread. On the continent for example, ‘Schweißfieber’ spread and caused many deaths at that time.


What also is an interesting aspect in the matter is, why King Richard III’s wife did not get another child. Was it because of a hard delivery of her first child or other causes? This indeed makes her a likely recipient of the jewellery found near Middleham castle. Maria Grazia (interview with her here) just published a lovely article about it on her blog Fly High!


But enough of speculation for now. King Richard III suffered enough speculation, during his lifetime and certainly afterwards.

Though, one of the fascinating aspects of his story for me is, that it leaves so much to speculate and still, in all of this, one cannot determine his character entirely.




King Richard Armitage currently prepares an interview with an author, who researched his family history and found an interesting story taking place during King Richard’s time. We hope to present this article to you next Wednesday.


5 Responses to The Role of a King or Why Richard III is so Intriguing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Petition - Status !

As of July
22nd 2022, 6 p.m. (CET)
we have 2482 signatures.

Go to sign...


Search the Site:

Subscribe to News-Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

KRA NewsStream

January 23, 2022

Royal Family: The deadly sickness that killed Henry VIII’s brother and thousands of others before vanishing without a trace (by Bea Isaacson,

January 8, 2022

Can new evidence clear the name of Richard III? (by Chris Lloyd, Darlington & Stockton Times)

December 29, 2021

Did Richard III actually save the boy king he’s accused of killing? (by Lydia Starbuck, Royal Central)

April 23, 2021

Steve Coogan movie The Lost King begins filming (by, British Comedy Guide)

January 31, 2021

Barnard Castle boars date back to King Richard III (by Andrew White, The Northern Echo)

January 12, 2021

Alternate history: what if Richard III had won at Bosworth? – Professor Emeritus Michael Hicks interviewed by Jonny Wilkes (by Jonny Wilkes, Professor Emeritus Michael Hicks, BBC History Revealed)

September 11, 2020

Steve Coogan and Stephen Frears to collaborate on The Lost King (

April 9, 2020

Steve Coogan confirms Richard III movie ‘next year’ (by BBC East Midlands,

November 1, 2019

Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth – By Mike Ingram (HeritageDaily)

October 8, 2019

Painted as a villain – how the Tudors regarded Richard III (by Christina J. Faraday, APOLLO.The International Art Magazine)


(To further news & commented NewsStream)

Subscribe to NewsStream-Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


KRA BookTips

KRA-Banner Quiz 2015
KRA-Banner Quiz 2014

♛ Recent Posts ♛

KRA-Week 2013 - SideBanner 1

♛ Post Archive ♛

King Richard Fan Art Fan-Art banner small