How did the Tudor Rose come about?

In the fifteenth century, there was a power struggle between rival descendants of Edward III. The conflict between them is known as the Wars of the Roses.

Tudor Battles and Wars

The descendants of John of Gaunt were Lancastrians represented by a red rose.

The descendants of Edmund of Langley were Yorkists represented by a white rose.


The young king Edward V was declared illegitimate in 1483.  His uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester took the throne as Richard III. Soon afterwards, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, the Princes in the Tower, disappeared.  Many people believe they were murdered by their uncle.

Henry Tudor was the rival Lancastrian claimant to the throne. He was in France raising troops to mount an invasion and remove Richard from the throne. He gained the support of Elizabeth Woodville, widow of Edward IV, by promising to marry her eldest daughter, Elizabeth, when he became King.

In 1485 Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven and marched inland. On hearing of the invasion, Richard III called his army to muster in Leicester. The two sides met at Bosworth Field on 22nd August 1485. Richard III was killed on the battlefield and Henry Tudor was proclaimed king.

Henry took the throne as Henry VII and, as promised, married Elizabeth of York in January 1486. The emblem of the new dynasty was the Tudor Rose which was created from the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York.

Tudor Rose


First published 2017; updated and republished Jul 19, 2020 @ 3:18 pm – Updated – Oct 13, 2022 @ 11:15 am

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2021). How did the Tudor Rose come about? Available: Last accessed [date]