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The Princes in the Tower

On 9th April 1483, King Edward IV died suddenly. He had two sons: Edward (aged 12) and Richard (aged 9). Before dying, he made his trusted younger brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester, Protector of the young princes. This meant that he would basically run the country until his nephew, Prince Edward, was old enough to rule by himself.

Princes

On 26th June 1483 however, Richard Duke of Gloucester announced that neither of the princes could inherit the throne because their father hadn’t been legally married to their mother. 

In July, Richard Duke of Gloucester therefore crowned himself King Richard III of England.

King Richard III

The two princes were never seen again and what happened to them is still a mystery today.


In 1674 the bones of two young boys were found hidden away under a staircase in the Tower of London, leading many people to believe the princes had been murdered:
  • some people think that King Richard III killed them so that they wouldn’t try to steal the throne from him when they got older and so that the country therefore had to accept him as their king;
  • some people think that the future King Henry VII killed them as he wanted the throne for himself with little opposition and they thought that King Richard III had actually been a nice, caring uncle to the princes.