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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.

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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ.
Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 325



King's train; and to signify the office of High. Steward of England, he carried a white staff in his hand. "Then followed the procession of the Queen, before whom was bore the sceptre, the ivory rod, the dove, and the crown. The Queen herself, apparelled in robes similar to the King's, wore a golden circlet, set full of precious stones ; over her head was a rich canopy, with a bell of gold at each corner ; and her train, which was about forty yards long, and of the richest velvet, was borne by the Countess of Richmond, assisted by the Duchesses of Norfolk and Suffolk, and twenty ladies of estate, most richly attired. " In this order the procession passed the palace into the abbey : the King and Queen ascending to the high altar, there shifted their robes ; and having other robes open in divers places, from the middle upwards, were both of them anointed and crowned by Cardinal Bourchier, assisted by the Bishops of Exeter and Norwich. The King was crowned with St. Edward's crown, the sceptre being delivered into his left hand, and the ball and cross into his right. The Queen had a sceptre placed in her right hand, and the ivory dove in her left ; and after their majesties had received the sacrament, and liad the host divided between them, they both offered at St. Edward's shrine, where the King left the crown of that Saint and put on his own ; and this done, in the same order as they came, the procession returned to Westminster Hall, and there partook of a most princely feast." The coronation ended, Richard took his Queen and his son, the Prince of Wales, to Windsor, where he left them, whilst be proceededonaprogress through the midland counties. Anne and her son, accompanied by the Spanish ambassadors, who had come to propose a marriage between their sovereign's eldest daughter and Richard's heir, joined the King at Warwick Castle ; and after keeping court there with great splendour for a week, the royal family proceeded through Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, and Pontefract, to York. That the men of the north might receive him with all possible honour, the King, when at Nottingham, had sent his secretary before him with letters, advising the mayor and aldermen of York of his coming. One of these letters requests the mayor to "receive their graces as laudable as your wisdom imagine, with pageants, joyous displays, and such good speeches as can goodly, this short warning being considered, be devised." Accordingly, the King and Queen, and their court, were received at York with every mark of loyalty and joy. Their wardrobes had been forwarded from London ; and to please the men of the north, with whom Richard had long been popular, the King and the Queen were re-erowned in York Cathedral, with the same pomp and pageantry as had been exhibited in London—the cross of St. Cuthbert, the patron saint of the North, being borne side by side with that of St. Edward. At the same time, the Prince of Wales was again invested with his title, and, on the next day, the Queen, holding by the hand Prince Edward, who wore a demi-crown, as the heir-apparent, walked in procession through the streets. F eastings, tournaments, miracle plays, and other entertainments followed; but ere these festivities terminated, the Buckingham insurrection recalled Richard to London. Anne accompanied her husband; but the Prince of Wales, on whom all the deformed King's love and hopes were centred, and for whose behoof he, by blood and crime, had usurped his nephew's throne, was left for safety at Middleham Castle, where he died suddenly, but how is not known, on the ninth of April, 1484. Anne was at Nottingham when her darling and only child expired. The bereavement broke her heart. She sunk into a slow but fatal decline ; and, to add to the bitterness of her miseries, her stern, selfish husband, now that their only child was dead, was anxious to become the father of another heir ; and as her declining health precluded the possibility of her ever again becoming a mother, he, or perhaps his courtiers, darkly hinted at the expediency and possibility of annulling her marriage.


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