The Tudor Society

Coronation of Elizabeth of York – 25 November 1487

Elizabeth of YorkOn 25th November 1487, St Catherine's Day, Elizabeth of York, consort of Henry VII and mother of one-year-old Arthur Tudor, was crowned queen at Westminster Abbey. As Elizabeth's biographer Amy Licence explains, her coronation had been postponed due to her pregnancy and then unrest in England.

Amy Licence describes how the coronation celebrations kicked off with a river procession on the Thames, from Greenwich to the Tower of London, and how "the Arthurian theme was deployed, with one barge decorated as a huge red dragon spouting real flames", along with decorated barges, pageants and music. Following the river procession, Elizabeth spent the night at the Tower with her husband, Henry VII, before processing from the Tower through the streets of London the following day, dressed in white cloth of gold with an ermine mantle, and a jewelled gold circlet on her head.

At her coronation, Elizabeth "was anointed twice before the huge assembly of nobles, once on the chest and once on the head before receiving a ring for the fourth finger of her right hand, a gold crown, sceptre and rod of gold." She then processed from the abbey to Westminster Hall where there was a sumptuous coronation banquet in her honour.

Elizabeth of York was Henry VII's queen consort until her death on 11th February 1503. Henry VII never remarried, dying himself in 1509.

You can read more about Elizabeth's coronation celebrations in the Memoir of Elizabeth York in Privy purse expenses of Elizabeth of York : wardrobe accounts of Edward the Fourth. With a memoir of Elizabeth of York edited by Nicholas Harris Nicolas - click here, p. lxxi to lxxiv.

Notes and Sources

  • Licence, Amy (2013) Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen, p. 135-138.

There are 6 comments Go To Comment

  1. P

    Love to know more!🌹

  2. P

    Love to know more!🌹

  3. P

    Love to know more!🌹

  4. R

    I was lucky to find a hard back special edition of the privy expenses for the wardrobe of Elizabeth of York, it is beautiful. Of course few Queens were crowned at the same time as the King, but Elizabeth had an especially long wait after her marriage in January 1486. First, as you say her pregnancy, although Anne Boleyn had to endure being flaunted about while at least six months pregnant, plus the small matter of Lambert Simnel claiming to be Edward of Warwick, the Dublin King, the Battle of Stoke and a bit of Yorkist unrest with invasion from Ireland, Scotland and abroad in support. Now finally Henry could crown his Queen.

  5. I

    I love her so much!!❤️🌹🥰😍

  6. L

    I strongly suspect the ‘real reason’ for the delay, is because Elizabeth was in-fact the suo jure heir to the throne as the eldest daughter of Edward IV, and not legally speaking, simply just a consort, (at least not like other queens, who had no right to the throne in their own right). And it is my understanding, Henry Tudor was made well aware of this fact by the nobles and by parliament after Bosworth, that without marriage to her, they wouldn’t accept him…which really annoyed him. So by having a two-year delay in her coronation, I believe he felt that this would at least give the perception to the people of England that he was the ruling monarch in his own right, like he didn’t need her or something, especially since she had not been crowned Queen for so long despite that not really being the case…In other words, I think the delay was simply because of Henry VII’s ego. But the pregnancy and unrest does make a nice cover story.

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Coronation of Elizabeth of York – 25 November 1487