Edward V enters the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation

One of the most famous mysteries in English history began to take shape on 19th May 1483. Edward at the time was seen as King Edward V. He is more popularly remembered as being the elder of the Princes in the Tower, was taken to the Tower.

19th May 1483, Edward V enters the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation.

There is nothing unusual in a king going to the Tower to prepare for his coronation. It had happened many times before as the Tower is the safest place for the soon to be crowned monarch and, by this date, tradition dictated that this should occur.


Edward V
Edward V

Delayed coronation

Delays in the coronation and the imprisonment of Woodville, Grey and Vaughan at Pontefract Castle made the young King’s stay longer than anticipated. There was an air of suspicion around the court with different people playing for power.

Richard of Shrewsbury

Richard and his chief aides wanted the young King to be accompanied by his younger brother, Richard of Shrewsbury Duke of York. This was problematic as the young prince had been taken into Sanctuary at Westminster Abbey.

Both Princes in the Tower

Shortly afterwards his mother, Elizabeth Woodville, was persuaded to allow the younger Prince, Richard, to accompany Edward in the Tower. The decision was likely taken partly through persuasion and partly through coercion: armed men had surrounded the place of sanctuary.

Declared illegitimate

The coronation never happened. It was delayed for several reasons, not least of which was the treasury had no reserve of funds at the time. Little over a month later the boys were declared illegitimate and Richard Duke of Gloucester was invited to become King. They later vanished from public view and their fate remains an unproven mystery to this day.


Lewis, Matthew. Survival of the Princes in the Tower.

Weir, Alison. Richard III and the Princes in the Tower.


Edward IV

Richard III


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