On the one hand are those who believe he was an evil, scheming, physically misshapen man who killed his nephews to gain the throne. This picture was helped along by the works of Shakespeare. Of course Shakespeare lived in the time of the Tudors who had taken the throne from Richard so Mr. Shakespeare certainly knew which side of his bread to check for butter. Others believe he was a forward looking king who brought about many legal improvements for his country, was mourned greatly by his subjects in York and did not kill his nephews. We will never know all the facts of his life.
Richard married Anne Neville in 1472 and she became queen in 1483 when Richard came to the throne. Anne was the daughter of the |Earl of Warwick, called the Kingmaker, a man of influence and means. She was first married to Edward, son of Henry VI when they were teenagers, as a political arrangement. Edward died shortly after the marriage during a fight for the throne between Henry VI and Edward IV, brother to Richard.
Richard had known Anne since childhood when they had played together and become friends. He received permission from his brother Edward IV to marry her but when he returned from a campaign to claim her he discovered she had been taken away. His other brother George the Duke of Clarence was prepared to go to great lengths to prevent their marriage, as he had other plans for Anne. He didn't want her to marry at all so that her sister Isabel who happened to be married to George could claim all her estates. The story goes that George got custody of Anne, made her his ward and hid her away working as a maid in a country inn. In true romantic fashion Richard followed his love, found where she had been hidden away and brought her back. Now began the difficult procedure of persuading his brother to let him marry her. In order to gain George's consent, he had to give up claim to vast amounts of Anne's land and holdings. That he was willing to do this proves the depth of his love for his wife.
Richard and Anne had one son who died tragically at a young age. They were both devastated by his death and Anne died shortly afterwards, probably of tuberculosis.
Richard was not to outlast her for long. He was killed in the final battle of the War of the Roses on Bosworth Field. Anne is buried at Westminster Abbey. Until Leicestershire needed a new car park, Richard's final resting place remained unknown.