On 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.