Elizabeth Woodville

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Elizabeth Woodville (circa 1437[1] – 8 June 1492) was the Queen consort of Edward IV, King of England, from 1464 until his death in 1483. Elizabeth was a key figure in the series of dynasty civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses. Her first husband, Sir John Grey of Groby was killed at the Second Battle of St Albans. As the daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers, she was the first commoner to marry an English sovereign. It was because of this that Edward's former staunch ally Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known to history as "The Kingmaker" switched his allegiance to the House of Lancaster. Her children included Elizabeth of York, and the Princes in the Tower. Tradition holds that she served as a Maid of Honour to Queen consort Margaret of Anjou, but the evidence of this is uncertain.[2]

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Early life and first marriage

Elizabeth was born circa 1437[3] at Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, the daughter of Richard Woodville, 1st Earl Rivers and his wife, the former Jacquetta of Luxembourg, widow of John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford. Although spelling of the family name has sometimes been modernized to "Woodville", it was spelled "Wydeville" in contemporary publications by Caxton and as "Widvile" on Queen Elizabeth's tomb at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

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