Henry and Elizabeth

Having recently secured the English throne after the Battle of Bosworth Field, Henry VII fulfilled his promise to marry Elizabeth of York on January 18, 1486, thus uniting the warring houses of York and Lancaster.

As royal marriages go, this one was fairly successful. The couple had seven children, four of whom lived to adulthood (or close to it); their eldest son, Arthur, was born almost exactly nine months after their wedding. Elizabeth kept herself out of politics and was reputed to be gentle, kind, and generous. The royal pair were genuinely fond of each other, and after Prince Arthur died Elizabeth rushed to her grieving husband’s side and comforted him.

She became pregnant again after Arthur’s death and gave birth to a daughter named Katherine in Februarly 1503. The baby died after only a few days, and Elizabeth followed her to the grave on February 11, her 37th birthday, thus ending the royal partnership. Her husband sincerely mourned her and gave her a splendid funeral. He never remarried and was buried at her side in Westminster Abbey.

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