Anne Neville sat at the center of the twisted Wars of the Roses. Unbelievably rich and utterly beautiful, kings on both sides of the War desperately vied for her hand in marriage. Anne eventually found herself as the Queen of England, one of the most powerful people in the country—then it all suddenly unraveled. If people don't know her name today, maybe that's because of her heartbreaking end. Discover the tragic life of Anne Neville, the Kingmaker's Daughter.
1. She Was Born At The Start Of A War
Anne Neville was born in a time of chaos. The Wars of the Roses had just begun, and the end was nowhere in sight. In fact, Anne would never see peace in her entire life. And, to make matters worse, Anne's father was right in the middle of the action. It's hard to stay out of the conflict when your father is the infamous Kingmaker.
2. Her Dad Was The Kingmaker
Anne's father was Richard Neville, the 16th Earl of Warwick. Today, he's known as the Kingmaker for his role in helping not just one but two separate men claim the throne of England. As his daughter, Anne Neville never had a chance at a normal life—but still, I doubt even her scheming father knew what was in store for her.
3. Her Mom Had Moolah
Her dad might have been one of the most important men in England, but Anne's mother was no slouch herself. Anne de Beauchamp was one of the wealthiest women in the entire kingdom—and that made her inheritance very interesting to anyone who wanted power in England. Thanks to her ruthless father and her extravagant mother, men would be fighting over Anne Neville for her entire life.
4. She Was Worth A Fortune
Under normal circumstances, Anne Neville and her older sister Isabel would barely have seen a cent of their parents' vast estates, but one fact changed everything: The couple never had a son. As Isabel and Anne grew older, they caught the eye of England's most powerful men—and that can be a very dangerous place to be.
5. She Had A Cushy Childhood
Though England was in turmoil, Anne actually had a charmed childhood, hidden away at the luxurious Middleham Castle. It was here that she came across two young men; men with whom the rest of her life would be inextricably linked. Their names were Richard and George, but it was their last name that mattered: York.
6. Two Brothers Came To Live With Them
The Nevilles were distantly related to the rebellious Richard, Duke of York, the man many believed would become king by the time the Wars of the Roses were over. As such, York sent his two youngest sons, Richard and George, to live and train at Middleham Castle. There, the two boys came to know the sisters Anne and Isabel very well.
In just a few years time, each of the brothers would marry one of the sisters—and yet all of their unions would end horribly.
7. Her Dad Tried To Ship Her Early
Young Richard spent an especially long time at Middleham, training to be a knight. Even back then, the Duke of York and the Kingmaker might have discussed a marriage contract between Richard and Anne. While neither York nor Neville would live to see it happen, Richard and Anne would indeed end up husband and wife—though not the way their fathers expected.
Against all odds, they would end up ruling England as King and Queen—albeit for a brief, tragic period.
8. Her Life Was Chaotic
Any plans that the Kingmaker and the Duke of York had went up in smoke in 1460, when the Duke lost his life in battle against the forces of his nemesis—the Mad King Henry VI. It seemed like maybe the Duke's end might mean the Wars of the Roses were over—but no. The Yorkists rose up yet again and deposed Henry, making the Duke's eldest son King Edward IV.
If the war ended with the Duke of York, maybe Anne Neville could have had a normal life—but instead, she was in for a roller coaster ride.
9. Her Sister Married A Big-Deal Guy
In 1469, Anne's sister Isabel married the king's brother George—the same George who had spent his childhood at the Nevilles' castle. It seemed like a completely obvious match, but these were uncertain times. While the Kingmaker had been Edward's greatest ally in his rise to the throne, everything changed once Edward became king. The Kingmaker found himself being pushed aside, and he wouldn't stand for it.
So Richard Neville came up with a plan for his daughter Anne—a plan that would end up tearing the family apart.
10. Her Dad Set Her Up With The Enemy
In a move that completely shocked all of England, Richard Neville had Anne betrothed to the deposed Mad King's son, Edward of Westminster. Fed up with the king he helped make, Neville completely switched sides and joined the enemy. The Wars of the Roses started right back up again—and this time, Anne found herself right in the middle of it.
If her life was chaotic before, it was about to get so much worse.
11. At Least Her Wedding Was Nice
Edward of Westminster had been living in France with his mother, the cunning Margaret of Anjou. Anne and her father sailed across the English Channel to meet up with them, and in 1470, Anne Neville wed Edward at the majestic Angers Cathedral. As long as everything went to according to the Kingmaker's plan, the two of them would be King and Queen of England before long.
To say things didn't go according to plan would be an understatement...
12. She And Her Sister Married Sworn Enemies
In a strange twist of fate, Anne Neville and her sister Isabel found themselves on the exact opposite sides of the Wars of the Roses, thanks to their respective husbands. Things must have been real awkward when the Nevilles got together for family gatherings—but don't worry, they could still get a whole lot weirder!
13. She Returned Home
At this time, Anne's new father-in-law, the deposed King Henry VI, was locked up in the Tower of London. Not long after Anne and Edward's wedding, the whole gang set sail for England to free the king and put him back on the throne. But unfortunately, there's one thing that the Kingmaker didn't account for...
14. Her Brother-In-Law Betrayed Them
Richard Neville thought he had one ace in the hole: His son-in-law George—King Edward IV's brother. George resented his brother almost as much as Neville did, and so Neville assumed that George would back him up. But the thing is, George wanted the throne for himself. He wasn't about to help the Kingmaker put crazy old Henry VI back on the throne.
Anne's marriage to Henry's son sealed it. George realized Neville would never help him become king, so he abandoned the Kingmaker and rejoined his brother.
15. She Never Sealed The Deal
Anne's marriage to Edward of Westminster eventually came to a devastating end—but maybe they were doomed from the start. Margaret of Anjou didn't exactly trust Richard Neville, so she made sure that Anne and Edward never consummated their union. That way, if Neville doublecrossed her, she could get the marriage annulled no problem.
Turns out, Margaret didn't have to worry—her son would be dead long before she had to worry about an annulment.
16. She Was A Babe
Though Anne's marriage to Edward of Westminster was 100% a political match, we can't say Edward would have hated the idea. According to contemporary accounts, Anne was a knockout. She was utterly gorgeous, extremely friendly, and an all-around catch. Unfortunately, her looks and personality couldn't save her from the tragic life that awaited her.
17. She Found Herself In A Viper's Den
Anne's time in France wasn't exactly a vacation. Remember, she was the Kingmaker's daughter, and the Kingmaker had been Margaret of Anjou's sworn enemy until about five minutes ago. She must have felt tremendous relief when she set sail back for England along with her father's army—but little did she realize, she was jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
18. She Was The Next Queen—For About A Second
Things at least got off to a good start for Anne: Her father successfully kicked King Edward out of London and restored Henry VI to the throne. That meant that, for a hot minute, Anne's hubby was in line to be the next king. And when we say "a hot minute," we mean it. They didn't even last a year...
19. Her Fortunes Changed Again
The Kingmaker put Henry VI on the throne in October. Edward IV took it back by March. It seemed as though Anne's chance to become Queen of England had evaporated in an instant, but her day would eventually come—just not in the way anyone expected. For now, Anne was forced to flee and hope for better luck ahead. Little did she know, she was about to lose everything.
20. She Lost Her Father In Battle
The English countryside broke out into open conflict once again, and this time, the Kingmaker's luck had finally run out. His forces met King Edward's on the field at the Battle of Barnet—and it was an utter disaster. Not only did Edward recapture King Henry VI, but Richard Neville himself lost his life in the fray.
Anne had lost her father, but at least this was the end to the madness, right? Nope—plenty more of that to come.
21. Her Husband Went Next
After Barnet came the Battle of Tewkesbury. The first time, Anne lost her father—this go-round, she lost her husband. The King's forces slew Prince Edward in the battle, and suddenly, Anne found herself in terrible danger.
22. The King Captured Her
King Edward's forces took Anne prisoner after Tewkesbury. That couldn't have been a comfortable place to be: After all, her father had utterly betrayed the Yorkists and her husband had been their sworn enemy's son. But remember how Anne stood to inherit one of the biggest fortunes in all of England? That would end up saving her hide.
23. She Had A Secret Weapon
Edward didn't really know what to do with Anne after he'd captured her. She was the Lancastrian prince's widow and daughter of the hated Kingmaker...but there was still all that money to be had. He ended up dumping her with his brother, George. At first, that seems ideal—after all, George's wife was Anne's sister Isabel.
But this wasn't like coming home for Anne—it was more like getting thrown in prison.
24. Her Brother-In-Law Tried To Erase Her
If George, Duke of Clarence had had his way, Anne never would have seen the light of day again. With her out of the picture, that meant that his wife Isabel would inherit their mother's entire fortune. But Anne Neville was an important woman, and the world wasn't about to forget about her. Countless men across England probably wanted her hand in marriage—and one of those men was none other than George's own brother, Richard.
25. She Had A Knight In Shining Armor
Richard of Gloucester was King Edward IV's youngest brother. That left him well out of the running to become king—but Richard was probably one of the most ruthless men in the history of England. When he wanted something, he got it. So when he set his eyes on Anne Neville, nothing in the world could stop him from getting her.
26. No One Wanted Her And Richard Together
Richard desperately wanted Anne's hand in marriage, but he was going to have to fight for it. His oldest brother, the King, didn't want him marrying the Kingmaker's daughter. The middle brother, George, wanted Anne de Beauchamp's inheritance all to himself. Both of them pulled out all the stops to try and make sure Richard never got within a hundred feet of Anne—but they underestimated their cunning brother.
27. Even Her Sister Betrayed Her
So much for sisterly love: Isabel was right there with her husband George in trying to make sure no one ever saw Anne again. The couple planned to hide Anne away in a nunnery for the rest of her life. Honestly, compared to what actually happened, that probably would have been nice...but Richard of Gloucester couldn't be stopped.
28. They Humiliated Her
According to some accounts, George and Isabel went so far as to force Anne to live as a servant, working discreetly in a London kitchen, to hide her from Richard's gaze. Even if it's true, it didn't make a difference in the end.
29. Richard Saved Her Anyway
Richard of Gloucester managed to track Anne down and take her to sanctuary at the Church of St. Martin's le Grand, where George, her sister, or even the King couldn't get to her. Like we said, Richard wanted to marry Anne, and when he wanted something, he got it. Still, his brothers had underestimated just how much he wanted to make Anne his wife.
30. He Just Wanted Her (Or Did He?)
Once Richard had found Anne, he did something no one expected: He actually agreed to give up most of her inheritance! He told his brother that, if he consented to Richard and Anne's marriage, he'd renounce his right to Anne's most lucrative lands and properties. If nothing else, this seemed to prove that Richard actually loved Anne—but with Richard, there was always more than there seemed...
31. Their Wedding Was Secretive
Even after all the work Richard put in to finally marry Anne, they still had to keep the whole affair shrouded in secrecy. We still don't know when exactly they tied the knot, but we know that by the spring of 1472, Anne and Richard were officially husband and wife. If you think it's awkward that Anne completely flipped sides with this new husband, you don't even know the half of it.
If rumors were true, Richard's connection to Anne was even more twisted than it appeared.
32. Her New Husband Had A Dark Past
Official records claim that Anne's first husband, Edward of Westminster, lost his life at the Battle of Tewkesbury—but he might have met a much darker end. Many in England thought that Richard of Gloucester had personally chased the prince to the doors of Tewkesbury Abbey. The church was supposed to offer sanctuary for anyone within—but that couldn't stop a man like Richard.
If you believe the stories, Richard stormed into the abbey and personally cut down Edward of Westminster. Wonder if that ever came up after he'd married Anne...
33. Everyone Was Related To Everyone
Anne's twisted love life was even more messed up than it seemed. Not only were Anne and Richard not-so-distantly related, but since Edward and Richard were cousins by blood, many in the Church believed that it was immoral for Anne and Richard to marry. Their intertwined family tree meant that Richard needed to get special permission from the Pope to marry Anne—but of course, nothing can be that simple.
34. Their Marriage Might Have Been A Sham
Everyone knew that Richard needed the Pope's blessing to marry Anne, but what we don't know is whether or not he actually got it. Though some accounts claim they received permission, there's no actual record of it. Down the line, there was every possibility that Richard's enemies could use this fact against him—but their marriage would implode long before anyone got the chance.
35. She Settled Down...For Now
Once married, Anne and Richard settled into their childhood home at Middleham Castle, where they'd first met so many years before. King Edward made Richard Governor of the North and Anne's life finally saw some level of peace. So it was for about ten years—for someone as used to turmoil as Anne, it must have been bliss.
But it was only a matter of time before her life was thrown on its head once again.
36. She Wasn't Even 20 Yet
After everything she'd been through, it feels like Anne had lived 10 lives, but she wasn't even 20 years old when she married Richard of Gloucester. The teenage Anne officially became the Duchess of Gloucester—for now, at least. There were far grander titles in her future.
37. She Had A Thing For Edwards
About a year after their marriage, Richard and Anne welcomed a child. As if names weren't already confusing enough during the Wars of the Roses, they named him Edward. I'm sure they named him after King Edward, his uncle, but it's certainly a little awkward that he shared a name with Anne's ex-husband—you know, the guy who Richard may or may not have slain.
38. Her Son Was Frighteningly Frail
Edward of Middleham came from some seriously tough stock. His grandfather was the Kingmaker, his father was the burly Richard of Gloucester, and his uncle was the towering King Edward IV. Unfortunately, none of that shone through with young Edward. He was a sickly boy from the very beginning. The couple must have hoped their boy would grow stronger as it got older—but instead, he only got worse.
39. Her Mother Was Still Kicking Around
All the fighting between Anne and Isabel had been on account of their mother, Anne Beauchamp—but it's not like Anne was dead or anything. Ever since her husband lost his life in battle, she'd holed herself up in Beaulieu Abbey, where King Edward couldn't come for her. She hoped that time would heal all wounds, and eventually King Edward would let her reclaim her estates.
But if you think Edward was the forgiving type, you haven't been paying attention.
40. She Was Prisoner In A Church
Anne de Beauchamp begged anyone who would listen to get the king to allow her to return home, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. This presented a perfect opportunity for Anne and Richard. Once they married, they brought Anne's mother to join them at Middleham. She was finally free from her "sanctuary"—but at a price. Now she owed everything to Richard.
Remember how Richard claimed he didn't want anything to do with Anne de Beauchamp's vast fortune? Yeah, turns out, that wasn't exactly true.
41. Her Husband Saved Her Mother
Richard played the part of the kind son-in-law, rescuing Anne de Beauchamp—but with Richard of Gloucester, there was always a reason. With the elder Anne under his watchful eye at Middleham, he could make sure that he got her lucrative inheritance. I'm sure that George and Isabel would have had something to say about that—but in the end, it wouldn't matter.
After all that fighting, fate ended up deciding for them.
42. Her Sister Passed On—I Doubt She Was Very Sad
After Anne's contentious relationship with her sister and her brother-in-law George, we can't imagine there was much love lost between the two sides of the family. I wonder if Anne managed to muster up any tears, then, when Isabel passed in 1476, from complications in childbirth. Isabel had plotted to make sure that Anne didn't receive their mother's inheritance, and yet she didn't even live long enough to see it.
But while Isabel's end was sudden, her husband's demise was far, far darker.
43. Her Brother-In-Law Followed Soon After
Anne's brother-in-law George of Clarence spent his entire life scheming and plotting—and it finally came back to bite him in the end. George had rebelled against his brother, King Edward, countless times over the years, but in 1478, George ran out of luck. Edward's merciful streak ended, and he had George executed.
Anne must have had at least some affection for her sister and brother-in-law, though. After both Isabel and George passed, Anne took in their children for a time.
44. She Took In Their Kids
One of the kids that Anne took in would grow up to become the infamous Margaret Pole, who dared crossed Henry VIII and ended up paying for it with her life. Apparently, Anne didn't teach her to watch out for power-mad kings.
45. George's End Might Have Been Truly Brutal
If Anne showed some fondness for Isabel and George by taking in their children, Richard completely canceled out that kindness. According to some stories, Richard personally saw to his own brother's execution. That's bad enough, but how he did it is the truly disturbing part: He had his brother drowned in a cask of wine.
46. Her Husband Stirred The Pot
By 1483, the Wars of the Rose had been "over" for over a decade. King Edward IV held the throne securely all that time and he had two healthy sons to inherit it. Honestly, the English crown hadn't looked so settled in years. So, when Edward suddenly passed, it may have shocked England, but no one panicked. At least this time, it seemed like the transition should be smooth and simple.
But you're not accounting for Anne's husband Richard. The man who always got what he wanted. By the time Richard was finished, Anne would be queen—but it would come at a terrible price.
47. Her Husband Betrayed His Blood
In what turned out to be a horrible mistake, King Edward made his brother Richard Lord Protector when he passed. Basically, Richard was supposed to look after the country while his 12-year-old nephew—the new King Edward V—came of age. Honestly, it sounds like a pretty good gig, but it wasn't nearly enough for the power-hungry Richard.
Richard wasn't about to let his snotty nephews take the throne that should have been his. He wanted that crown, and he pulled one of the most twisted stunts in the history of England to get it.
48. She Became Queen Under Dark Circumstances
Poor Edward V never even got the chance to be king. Richard brought Edward and his younger brother to the Tower of London for "protection"—then promptly threw away the key. Edward IV wasn't even cold yet, and Richard dealt him a chilling betrayal. He had his brother's marriage invalidated, declared that his nephews were illegitimate, and made himself King Richard III instead.
Who knows if Anne was in on the plan at all. Regardless, against all odds, the Kingmaker's daughter had become the Queen of England. Now, maybe she could finally sit back and enjoy life? Nope. Not even close.
49. Her Husband Was Truly Twisted
As for Richard's nephews, no one ever saw them again. The world remembers them as the tragic Princes in the Tower, and historians widely agree that Richard eventually had both of them secretly executed.
50. Her Coronation Day Was A Sight To Behold
Anne and Richard officially became the Queen and King of England on July 6, 1483. The Archbishop of Canterbury crowned them both in a joint ceremony, one of the most extravagant coronations England had ever seen. Almost every single noble in England showed up for the spectacle. However, amongst all the glitz and glamour, there was one glaring absence...
51. Her Son Was Too Ill To Attend
Anne's son Edward of Middleham, the new heir to the throne of England, was nowhere to be seen at his parents' coronation. Edward had been a sickly baby, and by now he'd grown into a sickly boy. On the big day, he was too ill to make it out and face the crowds. England was denied the chance to see their new heir on display—but don't worry too much about it.
Edward of Middleham wouldn't survive long enough to ever see the crown on his head.
52. Someone Ironic Attended Her
Queen Anne wore a magnificent train behind her coronation dress. She brought one of her most trusted ladies-in-waiting, Margaret, Countess of Richmond, along with her to carry said train. Why's that interesting? Margaret had a son. His name was Henry Tudor. The same Henry Tudor who would take the crown from Richard III's head just two years.
53. She Wanted People To Accept Her
After their ridiculously extravagant coronation, Anne and Richard went on tour. They traveled all across England to show the kingdom their new monarchs. Maybe they hoped all the pomp and circumstance would make the country forget about the Princes in the Tower and accept them as the rightful King and Queen.
Well, if that's what they hoped, it didn't happen. Turns out, when you abduct two princes, people tend to notice.
54. She Befriended Her Husband's Niece
While no one ever saw the Princes in the Tower again, King Edward IV didn't only have sons. He had a daughter as well, Elizabeth of York. Despite the, ahem, unpleasantness with her brothers, the teenaged Elizabeth quickly attached herself to the new queen. Maybe Elizabeth actually liked Anne—or maybe she just didn't want to end up like her brothers. Either way, getting close with Anne Neville was a smart play.
55. They Were Super Close
By all appearances, Anne and Elizabeth were two regular BFFs. Though Anne was about 10 years older, they looked remarkably similar—they even shared clothes. In fact, at one Christmas feast, the pair scandalized the guests by switching outfits mid-meal! Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal to us, but back in those days, it actually caused a scandal.
56. People Thought They Were Too Close
As Queen, Anne was supposed to be above everyone else. Even a princess such as Elizabeth was far beneath her, and for them to exchange clothing was unheard of. Yes, people back then could get worked up about something as small as two friends sharing clothes. People started to question whether Anne Neville was fit to be queen—but soon enough, that would be the least of her worries.
57. She Suffered An Unbelievable Tragedy
In April 1484, the day Anne had been fearing for a decade finally came. Her feeble son Edward suddenly passed. No one knows exactly what happened to him, but no one was surprised when it happened. Edward was living on borrowed time since the day he was born, and the reaper had finally come for him. To lose someone so young is always a tragedy—but to make it even worse, Edward was completely alone when it happened.
58. He Was Alone At The End
Edward of Middleham spent much of his life living in the country at Middleham Castle. His parents hoped that keeping him away from the hustle and bustle of the city would finally bring his strength to him, but it never came. Because of this, when Edward breathed his last, he was all alone and likely hadn't seen in parents for weeks if not months.
59. She Didn't Make It In Time
In a cruel twist of fate, Anne and Richard were actually en route to Middleham to visit their son when they heard the news that he was gone. If he'd held out for just a few more days, they could have said goodbye, but they didn't make it. To say the news hit them hard would be an understatement.
60. The Couple Went Mad
The loss of young Edward understandably left Anne and Edward absolutely devastated. One contemporary historian wrote that the couple was "almost bordering on madness by reason of their sudden grief". And as if it couldn't get any worse, everywhere they went, dark whispers started following them.
61. Few Grieved With Them
Rather than join the king and queen in grieving for the lost Edward, many in England believed they had it coming. Payback for the never-forgotten Princes in the Tower. But Anne had nothing to do with that, yet she lost her only child all the same—and still, her nightmare was only beginning.
62. She Tried To Fill The Hole In Her Heart
After she lost her son, Anne focused all of her devotion on her nephew: George and Isabel's son Edward. Richard had lost his heir to the throne, but at least Anne could still have a boy to love and dote upon—but it wasn't enough.
63. She Was A Lost Soul
When we say the loss of her son hit Anne hard, we mean it. Her nephew couldn't fill the void that young Edward had left, and within months of the boy's loss, Anne started fading away. Perhaps she had simply lost the will to live, but from the moment that she lost her boy, Anne's days were numbered.
64. She Didn't Outlive Her Boy For Long
Just months after Edward of Middleham passed, Anne Neville joined her son in the afterlife. Based on contemporary accounts, modern historians believe it was tuberculosis—but it was clearly more than that. She was only 28 years old, in the prime of her life, but in the blink of an eye, she was gone. Illness may have claimed her, but it seemed clear that Anne had simply lost the will to live.
But that's not the only explanation for Anne Neville's heartbreaking end.
65. Her Passing Brought A Dark Omen
A chilling omen marked the day of Anne's passing: A solar eclipse. All across England, superstitious folk whispered that the blackened sun was a sign from God: The twisted King Richard III had fallen from grace, and his end was near. After all, losing your son and wife in a matter of months doesn't exactly imply the Lord's favor.
Richard was always a man who took his fate into his own hands, so he probably shrugged off the rumors—but the omens would turn out to be frighteningly accurate.
66. She Lies In An Unmarked Grave
One of the reasons that Anne Neville is nearly forgotten today is that her final resting place lays unmarked. We know that Richard had her buried in Westminster Abbey, but he left no monument to commemorate her. Perhaps he hoped one day he would end up next to her—but that wasn't meant to be either. Richard would end up dying in the mud, miles from London, just a few short months later.
67. Her Riches Meant Nothing In The End
Men fought over Anne Neville for basically her entire life because she stood to inherit her mother's vast fortunes. How ironic, then, that Anne de Beauchamp ended up outliving both of her daughters.
68. Her Husband Wept For Her
Though he didn't give his wife's grave a marking, Anne's loss still seemed devastating to Richard. The often brutal king openly wept at her funeral—but were those tears real? To many, it seemed suspicious that Anne had passed so suddenly, so soon after the loss of their son. Many in England believed that the queen hadn't succumbed to tuberculosis. Rather, they claimed she had met a much darker fate...
69. He Might Have Been Hiding Something
Richard cried at Anne's funeral, but he may have been hiding a disturbing secret: Did the king have his own wife poisoned? After all, Richard was always willing to do anything to get what he wanted, and after his son's passing, what he wanted most was a son. Anne hadn't had another child in over a decade, and seemed unlikely to have another.
Even before Anne passed, many in the court believed Richard wanted to get rid of her. His eyes had already started wandering—to one of Anne's closest friends.
70. Her Husband Might Have Found Someone Else
Rumor had it that Richard wanted to ditch Anne and shack up with none other than Elizabeth of York. It's bad enough that he had the hots for his wife's close confidant, but let me remind you, Elizabeth was Richard's niece.
71. He Came Up With Plenty Of Reasons
Even though the niece thing is clearly a dealbreaker, Richard did have some OK reasons for wanting to leave Anne for Elizabeth. First and foremost, there was the children thing: Anne hadn't had a kid in years, and Elizabeth's mother had had a whopping 12 healthy children in her life. If that wasn't enough, Elizabeth brought one other key asset to the table...
72. He Wanted Two Bird With One Stone
In case you couldn't tell, there were lots of people in England who still considered Richard a usurper. They had liked his brother, Edward IV, and they weren't too pleased Richard had done away with the rightful heirs to the throne and taken the crown for himself. Marrying Elizabeth might have helped bring his naysayers around—any future heirs would still be Edward's direct descendants.
All of that may be true...but she was still his freaking niece. Maybe Anne was lucky getting away from this dude when she did.
73. He Had A Type
There isn't really much we can say about Richard III to make him seem like a decent guy, but at the very least, he did care for Anne Neville. OK, maybe he just had the hots for her, but hey, it's...something? Some historians have suggested that one of the reasons Richard started looking at Elizabeth as a potential match is because she and Anne looked so much alike.
Yeah, no, that doesn't quite make him not a creep.
74. He Made An Announcement
The rumors that Richard had offed his own wife so he could marry his niece eventually got so loud that he actually had to address them. He called his court together and had to basically scream at them that he had loved his wife and was actually sad that she'd passed. The people in attendance claimed he looked like he meant it, but if you even have to say it...
75. Her End Was A Little Too Convenient
Strangely, many people considered Anne's passing to be...kinda lucky. At least, for Richard. The last thing he wanted was to be stuck with a wife who couldn't give him heirs for the rest of his life. But, since you couldn't just leave your wife for no reason, especially if you're king, Richard might have had to do just that.
Just a few decades later, another king would be faced with a similar dilemma: His name was Henry VIII, and he didn't have to secretly poison his wives. He just chopped off their heads with barely a second thought.
76. A Letter Revealed Shocking Info
While lots of people believed all the rumors of a twisted Anne/Richard/Elizabeth love triangle, they were mostly just gossip. However, there may actually be evidence that something sinister was going on. Just a few years later, a whistleblower revealed a letter that they claimed Elizabeth of York had written herself.
The contents of that letter, if real, proved that Anne's demise might not have been as simple as it appeared.
77. Her Hubby Might Have Actually Done It
The letter from Elizabeth all but confirmed that she and Richard had been secretly planning to get married. And, seeing as there was no indication Anne was going anywhere any time soon, that means Richard and Elizabeth likely had a plan to...get her out of the picture. And, even more suspicious, she wrote the letter mere weeks before Anne suddenly came down with tuberculosis.
Modern historians can't actually prove that Elizabeth wrote the letter, but if she did, those rumors suddenly start sounding a lot more believable.
78. He Moved On Immediately
Who knows what really happened to Anne Neville, but one thing is for sure—Richard moved on quickly. Fewer than 10 days after his queen passed, Richard had already sent an envoy to Portugal to negotiate a new marriage. Maybe Richard was just trying to secure his future, maybe he really found it that easy to move on from Anne, but either way, it wouldn't matter in the end.
He might not have known it yet, but Richard III didn't have much time left.
79. You Could Say She Was Lucky
In the end, Anne's sudden demise was probably a blessing in disguise. If she hated Richard, then she escaped the clutches of a domineering and ruthless husband. And if she actually loved him, then at least she didn't have to witness his utterly brutal demise.
80. Her Husband Met A Far More Painful End
Just five months after Anne Neville passed, Richard III met the forces of Henry Tudor on the battlefield at Bosworth Field. No one expected the upstart Tudor to put up much of a fight, but the unbelievable happened. The battle-hardened King Richard III was cut down in battle, and Henry Tudor became King Henry VII.
The Wars of the Roses began just months before Anne Neville's birth, and they ended just months after her passing.
81. The New King Married Richard's Crush
Even though Richard was gone, Henry still had one final twist of the knife in store: He married the apple of Richard's eye, Elizabeth of York. In a strange way, Anne Neville ended up having a close connection to both the King and Queen who succeeded her. Queen Elizabeth was her close friend and confidant, and King Henry's mother had been the same to her in earlier days.
82. The World Forgot About Anne Neville
Many in England considered Richard III a stain on the country's history—and Anne Neville's legacy paid the price for it. The Tudors began a brutal smear campaign against the fallen Richard III (to their credit, he did make it pretty easy). Henry VII did all he could to erase Richard from history, and the same went for poor Anne Neville.
Although she was the freaking Queen of England, we have very, very few records of Anne Neville. On top of her unmarked grave, few portraits of her exist, or any other memorials of any kind.