Tag Archives: Princes in the Tower

The LCD

One of the greatest experiences of my childhood was visiting the Tower of London with my family.  That day, history came alive and a lifelong passion was born.  When I returned with my husband in 2012, I was a little bit disappointed in my experience.  While the great structures were still there, many of the exhibits had been “dumbed-down” to make them more interactive.  I really didn’t need to vote on who I believed murdered the Princes in the Tower.  This did nothing to enhance my experience; I didn’t learn anything.  In fact, having the voices of little boys shout “Uncle!?!” actually detracted from my experience.

The same thing happened at Hampton Court.  We rented the audio tour, and what we got was a make-believe, short story about Katherine Parr’s wedding day to Henry VIII.  I would have preferred a straightforward audio tour.  A lot of us, even as children, don’t need all the bells and whistles to make something interesting.  Being in a site with as much history as Hampton Court was riveting enough.

Above Left: Exhibit in question in the Bloody Tower at the Tower of London.  I don’t have a problem with this display but there was an area where you can vote who you think killed the princes.  WHO CARES WHAT I THINK!?!?!  Above Right: Me at Hampton Court in the Haunted Gallery where Henry VIII’s fifth queen, Catherine Howard, ran screaming for the king to spare her life.  Stories like this are fascinating unlike the make-believe audio tour we had!

Unfortunately, this is just a small, personal example of how society caters to the lowest common denominator.

Another example – when I call to schedule a doctor’s appointment, I am often treated like I’m disengaged and unimportant.  I have to fight to get what I need.  My husband, who has experience in this field, says it because they see so many who don’t give a damn about their health and don’t listen to the advice of their doctors.  Just because other people don’t care doesn’t mean that I don’t.  I’ve never heard of just not showing up for an appointment, but apparently it happens multiple times per day!  When I go in for my visit, the doctor is usually delighted that I’m healthy and engaged in my healthcare.

It’s hard to find a real news broadcast anymore.  Respectable news programs show youtube clips as news.  They report what some clown says on Twitter as fact, and then it turns out to be wrong.  You would be hard-pressed to find many people in my generation who know the actual news, and I’m not talking about Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  I’m sure the average person knows what craziness Donald Trump tweeted early this morning, but do they know what is going on with North Korea or ISIS?

I’m not trying to be political here, but this is concerning.  I’m tired of living in a world where we cater to the uniformed.  We live in a nation where a lot of people think Lena Dunham and the Kardashians have all the answers.

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My Nerdy Hobby

I have always been a huge history buff.  In fact, history was my second major in undergrad.  If I had it to do all over again, I would have gotten a PhD in history and become a college professor.  I am particularly interested in British history.  This started back at the age of ten on my first visit to England where I feel in love with Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, and the Princes in the Tower.  Over the last twenty years, I have always wondered who killed those two little boys (if both of them were even killed).

Traitor's Gate

Me standing in front of Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London!

History, which is written by the victors, has indicated that it was their uncle, Richard III, in his greed quest to claim the English throne.  This is entirely possible; however, there are other parties who had equal or better interest in wanting the boys dead.  There are even some conspiracy theories that one or both of the boys got away and live civilian lives in exchange for their sister, Elizabeth, becoming Henry VII’s queen.

Bloody Tower

The Bloody Tower – The area where young King Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, were held and possible murdered.

I was even more fascinated when the bones of Richard III were discovered in Leicester last year.  Thomas More, who worked for Henry VII, described Richard as an evil, lecherous, “crookback,” and this view was commonly accepted for hundreds of years.  The bones indicate that Richard was 5’8″ (above average height for the period) and suffered from scoliosis.  There are many historical accounts that show Richard to be a fairly pious and benevolent monarch.  Of course, there were executions he ordered that would make us squeamish in modern day; to hold the throne was a life and death struggle.  He was nowhere near his great nephew when it came to brutality.

Thirsty for more knowledge, I joined the Richard III Society last summer.  I get regular mailings/emails from them not only about Richard but about other historical figures and life in Yorkist England.  It is a great hobby for me, and I am trying to convince the family to move to York, although unsuccessfully, I am afraid.With that said, there have been a couple different sets of children’s bones found, two at the Tower of London and two at Windsor.  The set from the Tower of London, now buried at Westminster Abbey, seems to be the most promising.  It would be very interesting to test the DNA or Richard III’s bones vs. these sets.  Unfortunately, the Church of England will not allow this.  While a negative or positive test would neither condemn nor exonerate Richard, it would be fascinate to know if one or both of those sets of bones belonged to the princes.  I, for one, hope they got away.

Now, for some pictures of one of my favorite places in the world!

Tower Green

Me at Tower Green, where royal and noble executions took place.

Anne Boleyn

Me in Wakefield Tower where many famous prisoners were held.

Tower Entrance

Eric and me at the entrance to the Tower of London.

Raven

A Tower Raven – Legend has it that if the ravens leave the Tower, the kingdom will fall.

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