Who’s Who – Richard III

A guide to the key names in the Richard III episode:

The Royal Family

Richard III – the King! (formerly Duke of Gloucester)

Anne Neville – the Queen, daughter of the late Warwick the Kingmaker

Prince Edward – Richard and Anne’s only son (not to be confused with the identically named son of Henry VI!)

The Dead (featured in previous episodes but relevant to this one too!)

Henry VI – the last Lancastrian king, whose ineffectual rule led to the Wars of the Roses. Killed in 1471 following the death of his only son (Prince Edward) at the Battle of Tewkesbury.

Edward IV – Richard’s older brother, married to Elizabeth Woodville and father to Edward V. Ruled successfully but left a divided court behind in his wake which would prove fatal to his son’s succession.

Edward V – Richard’s nephew and the previous monarch, whom Richard usurped within months of his accession and then declared illegitimate. Edward and his younger brother disappeared from the Tower of London shortly afterwards, probably murdered on Richard’s orders.

Warwick the Kingmaker – a powerful noble in the Wars of the Roses who helped Edward IV win the throne and then helped Henry VI get it back, before ultimately coming a cropper at the Battle of Barnet.

The Woodvilles (Edward IV’s in-laws)

Elizabeth Woodville – Edward IV’s widow and the mother of Edward V. She remained in sanctuary with her daughters after Richard’s usurpation but was persuaded to return to court in 1484.

Elizabeth of York – Elizabeth Woodville’s eldest daughter. As the eldest surviving child of Edward IV, her hand in marriage was a potential benefit both to Henry Tudor and Richard himself.

The Tudors

Henry Tudor – a relatively obscure Lancastrian exile of Welsh descent who becomes Richard’s primary rival following the rumoured murder of the princes in the tower. Henry’s victory at Bosworth led to his becoming Henry VII, the first Tudor monarch.

Margaret Beaufort – Henry Tudor’s mother who fought his corner vigorously in England. Her marriage to Sir Thomas Stanley proved vital in winning military support for Henry at Bosworth.

Key Players

The Stanley Family – Sir William and Sir Thomas Stanley were originally loyal to Richard, but their support wavered as they increasingly sat on the fence between Richard and Henry Tudor, hedging their bets until the last possible moment.

The Duke of Buckingham (Henry Stafford) – Richard’s right-hand man in the usurpation but led an unsuccessful rebellion against Richard just months after Richard became king.

Henry Percy (4th Earl of Northumberland) – another one of Richard’s supporters whose lack of proactive support proved crucial in the Battle of Bosworth.

Duke of Norfolk (John Howard) – a loyal Ricardian who led the vanguard at the Battle of Bosworth

Earl of Oxford (John de Vere) – a Lancastrian veteran who had fought at the Battle of Barnet. He escaped to join Henry Tudor in exile and led his forces at the Battle of Bosworth.