Spotlight – Edward V

Name: Edward V

Title/s: Prince of Wales / King of England and France

Birth / Death: 2 November 1470 – c.1483

Spouse: N/A

Children: N/A

Parents: Edward IV 1442-1483 & Elizabeth Woodville c.1437-1492

Siblings: Elizabeth of York, Queen of England 1466-1503 / Mary 1467-1482 / Cecily, Viscountess Welles 1469-1507 / Margaret 1472 / Richard, Duke of York 1473-c.1483 / Anne, Lady Howard 1475-1511 / George, Duke of Bedford 1477-1479 / Catherine, Countess of Devon 1479-1527 / Bridget 1480-1517

Noble Connections: Edward’s father was Edward IV, and his paternal grandfather was Richard, Duke of York. He was a descendent of John of Gaunt through this line. His maternal grandmother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, was from the Burgundian royal family. His sister, Elizabeth, became Queen of England, and her husband, Henry VII, was Edward’s brother in law. Richard III was his uncle.

Events of their Lifetime: Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury 1471 / Death of Edward IV 1483 / Accession of Richard III 1483 / Death of George Duke of Clarence 1478 / Birth of Richard Duke of York 1473 / Death of Jacquetta of Luxembourg 1472

Controversy: The main controversy surrounding Edward V, and his brother, Richard Duke of York, is their disappearance and death in the Tower of London c.1483. It has long been assumed that they were murdered by their uncle, Richard III. However, recently more suspects have come to light including the Duke of Buckingham, Henry VII and Margaret Beaufort.

Works of Fiction:

  • Robin Maxwell, To the Tower Born (2005)
  • William Shakespeare, Richard III (1592)
  • Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time (1951)

Portrayals on Screen:

  • Sonny Ashbourne Serkis, The White Queen, 2013, 2 episodes
  • Timotei Cresta, Princes in the Tower, 2005, directed by Justin Hardy
  • Dorian Ford, Richard III, 1983, 1 episode
  • Caspar Morley, The Hollow Crown, 2016, 1 episode
  • Ronald Sinclair, Tower of London, 1939, directed by Rowland V. Lee
  • Marco Williamson, Richard III, 1995, directed by Richard Loncraine

Further Reading:

  • Ashdown-Hill, John, The Dublin King: the True Story of Edward Earl of Warwick, Lambert Simnel and the Princes in the Tower (2015)
  • Baldwin, David, The Lost Prince: the Survival of Richard of York (2007)
  • Fields, Bertram, Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes (1998)
  • Hicks, Michael, Edward V: the Princes in the Tower (2007)
  • Jenkins, Elizabeth, The Princes in the Tower (1978)
  • Molleson, Theya, ‘Anne Mowbray and the Princes in the Tower: a Study in Identity’, The London Archaeologist, 5 (1987)
  • Ross, Charles, Edward V: the Prince in the Tower (2003)
  • Tanner, L.E. & Wright, W., ‘Recent Investigations Regarding the Fate of the Princes in the Tower’, Archaeologia, 84 (1934)
  • Weir, Alison, The Princes in the Tower (1997)
  • Wilkinson, Josephine, The Princes in the Tower (2014)
  • Williamson, Audrey, The Mystery of the Princes (1978)


Arms of Edward V
Arms of Edward V



Edward V, late 16th century at the National Portrait Gallery
Edward V, late 16th century at the National Portrait Gallery
Edward V as Prince of Wales
Edward V as Prince of Wales

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