The disappearances of the Tower of London
The disappearance of the two princes in the Tower continues to haunt us, though it’s shrouded in mystery to this day. What we know is this – after the Prince’s father, Edward IV died, his elder son, Edward V, was named his heir. But his uncle, Richard III, who was also his legal protector, placed 12-year-old Edward in the Tower, closely followed by the 9-year-old Richard.
The two were never seen again and there’s been much speculation as to what occurred. It’s thought Richard feared he’d be toppled, as the brothers would be seen as more legitimate, but there were others involved who may also have stood to benefit.
Margaret Tudor, whose own son Henry had a disputed claim to the throne, was close to the Royal court and could have secured access to the boys. She had just as much motive as Richard to want to see them gone. Margaret had previously spoken with Elizabeth Woodville, the boy’s mother, about marrying her son to one of Woodville’s daughters but nothing came of this due to the instability of the court. Did Margaret get too ambitious? It’s true there were numerous other obstacles before Margaret could place her son on the throne, but we know she managed to navigate these – Henry VII was crowned on 22 August, 1485.
As to why the Princes vanished, we’ll probably never know, but as much as Richard III could have been responsible, it could also have been down to Margaret Tudor.