The second Henry Tudor was born June 28, 1491 at Greenwich Palace in London. It was the third child of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII and his wife, Elizabeth Plantagenet, daughter of the Yorkist King Edward IV. At the time of the birth of her second son, Queen Elizabeth was just 25 years, her husband was 34 and had been king for almost six years. These six years have been difficult. Henry’s marriage to Elizabeth had helped win support for his Yorkist rule, but the English people are not very excited about Henry, even if they had been significantly ambivalent about its predecessor, the uncle of Elizabeth Richard III. Elizabeth was popular with ordinary people, her young life has all the romance and tragedy necessary for friendly chat and she was just a classic beauty, with all the feminine virtues necessary for a queen. She was quiet, modest and charming, she was also happy to let his formidable mother-in-law, Margaret Beaufort, assume a position of unprecedented influence over the king.
emotional attachment to her husband, Elizabeth has been much debated. In truth, she had known all hersketch of Henry VIII, a life toddler she would never marry a man of his choice. Ultimately, his mother, Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort conspired with Elizabeth to marry Henry Tudor, exiled son of Henry VI’s half-brother. Henry was, by all accounts, grateful for the match. It welcomed its political implications. He also met the new queen and was faithful to his marriage vows, an unusual feature in a king. After her marriage, Elizabeth went into semi-retirement – she was the queen and her duty was to produce as many as possible heirs. Nine months after her marriage she gave birth to her first child at St Medard Priory in Winchester, a prince named Arthur. Henry and Elizabeth were married Jan. 18, 1486 at Westminster Abbey in London, Prince Arthur was born September 20, 1486.
Three years later, Elizabeth gave birth to their second child, Princess Margaret called the mother of Henry VII. She was born November 28, 1489 at the Palace of Westminster in London. For the new king, the birth of a healthy child on the other hand, and the quick recovery of his wife were good omens. Even when he tried to enforce his authority in northern England that was always annoying the basis of Richard III to support Henry VII can be assured that his dynasty was safer. But it’s only June 28, 1491, when another prince is born healthy, this time at Greenwich Palace, Henry VII could heave a sigh of relief. This second son was an insurance policy required for the new Tudor dynasty. Infant mortality was high and diseases like smallpox, sweating sickness and the plague were commonplace throughout England. A king need as many healthy as possible heirs, and the birth of a second son was an occasion to celebrate.
On February 27, 1490, Prince Arthur was titled Prince of Wales at the Palace of Westminster in London, which was the real beginning of a tradition that continues to this day. And in 1494, younger brother Arthur was titled Duke of York, the traditional title of king’s brother. At this age, everything we know of Henry is that he was considered a beautiful toddler and early, but we would expect such descriptions of the king’s son. It just did not share his brother lightly colored or build. Prince Henry was a strong strawberry blond boy known for his energy and temperament.
Just a year after his birth, his mother was another girl, this child was called Elizabeth and she died three years later. It was the first in a series of tragedies for the young queen. She and Henry VII were considered good and loving parents, but they never lost sight of the political importance of their children. Together, they decided that Prince Henry, as second-son, was destined for the church, and his early education was planned accordingly. This emphasis on theology and its esoteric debates stayed with Henry for the rest of his life and made him feel particularly qualified to interpret religious law during the 1520s.