The Ten Warning Signs You Might Be a Bride of Gloucester

bride of gloucester image

As most regular readers of this blog have gathered, I’m not a great admirer of Richard III, though I find the man and his times fascinating and am very grateful for the work of the Richard III Society in making more information about both available. And while I’m not keen on the man himself, I do have a number of Ricardian friends, with whom I have passed many entertaining and enlightening moments online (and sometimes offline as well).

There is, however, a very small subset of Ricardians whose feelings for Richard III go far beyond the bounds of mere admiration or interest. For this minority, someone (not me, sadly) has coined the brilliant phrase, the “Brides of Gloucester.” For these folks, nothing but abject, slavish devotion to the king will do, and woe betide anyone who might hold a different opinion.

Now, having read this far, you might be sitting up straighter and worrying, “Could I, with my boar badge and my penchant for white roses, be a Bride of Gloucester?” In order to ease your mind (or not, as the case may be), I therefore am providing you with a public service. If you can answer three or more of these questions with “yes,” you may want to find a new interest, such as learning to become a tattoo artist. (No, a portrait of Richard III would NOT look good tattooed on your back. Don’t even think about it. At least have the decency to settle for a simple white rose.) If you can’t–you’re in the clear. Heck, you might even come to have a sneaking admiration for Margaret Beaufort.

  1. Richard III’s portrait hangs in a more prominent position in your house than that of your partner or children.
  2. When you refer to “Dickon,” all of your friends know whom you’re talking about.
  3. You feel a certain antipathy toward Anne Neville, but can’t quite figure out why.
  4. When someone refers to a holy day, you assume he means October 2.
  5. When you think of an evil man, the image that comes to mind is not Adolf Hitler, but William Shakespeare.
  6. Your dog is named Lovell.
  7. You call in sick on August 22.
  8. You fantasize about seeing your loved one with one shoulder higher than the other.
  9. You have lost at least one friend over whether Richard should be buried in Leicester or York.
  10. You cry out “Richard” when you climax, and your partner doesn’t even notice anymore.
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44 Responses to The Ten Warning Signs You Might Be a Bride of Gloucester

  1. Margaret E. Michaels says:

    My Parents were married on August 22nd. Does that make me a Child of Gloucester? Neither of them gave much thought to R. Gloucester.

  2. S, L, S says:

    Do you not think that maybe the Brides of Gloucester name is a bit tongue in cheek?
    No one is that in love with Richard, not even Philippa Langley

    • Kathleen Hestand says:

      I don’t know about that. You’d be surprised at what people have written about him. He’s the historical equivalent of the literary obsession some have with Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice! Some people were awfully disappointed to find out Richard really did have scoliosis, and have tried to downplay it ever since. One person’s comments I read questioned that the bones found might have been a hoax or not really Richard, because Richard was tall and straight like his brothers.

    • boswellbaxter says:

      The name itself is tongue-in-cheek, but you would be surprised at the depth of the attachment out there. I’ve encountered one person who believes that Richard watches over Ricardians in their sleep. I’ve also encountered Ricardians who fantasize about sticking knives up the bottoms of non-Ricardians (mine in particular). The only other historical figure I can think of who has inspired such adoration is Anne Boleyn.

      • Sonetka says:

        My first reaction was “No, it’s not that bad!” and then I thought of some past conversations I’ve had and … yeah, the Anne acolytes can get pretty intense. But since her devotees are 99% female, she’s the Ideal Big Sister instead of the Ideal Lover, and defending Ideal Big Sister often means extended and sometimes really disturbing fantasizing about harming Philippa Gregory.

        For #5, shouldn’t the evil man be Henry Tudor? Shakespeare would be a mere minion compared to him :).

  3. Fiona says:

    Oh, Susan, I think I love you! 🙂

  4. Mary R says:

    While I would not style myself as a true Ricardian, I’m not willing to condemn him on what I consider to be insufficient evidence. The one thing that always gave me pause was the fact that Elizabeth of York never condemned him.

  5. Margaret Dunsdon says:

    Yes, yes, harming Philippa Gregory has certainly crossed my thoughts–though it has nothing to do with Anne Boleyn or any other of her queens–just hate bad writing.

    • Sonetka says:

      When there are forums in existence which are dandy with headlines like “Philippa Gregory — Should She Be Shot?” that goes beyond hating bad writing and well into Two Minutes Hate territory. She annoys me as well (although I think TOBG is a good, vivid beach reading sort of book) but if I had to pick between spending an hour with her or with that headline-writer, I know who I’d pick.

    • Mary R says:

      While I’ve never actually considered harming Phillipa Gregory, I think a book-burning might be in order!

  6. Helen Cox says:

    hilarious! (for the record, I have two white boars flanking a rose en soleil tattooed on my right arm, and a planta genista on my shoulder blade… what a yorkist saddo.)

  7. Helen Cox says:

    oh, and… um… we got married on october 2nd.

  8. Celia Parker says:

    Anyone answering ‘Yes’ to more than three of those questions might like, if possible to catch the new BBC1 series ‘The White Queen’, based, as they say, on an idea by Philippa Gregory and even, in a remote way, on actual history. Richard is played by a handsome hunk called Aneurin Barnard (that’s BARNARD as in Barnard Castle, so this must mean something!). On the other hand and I quote the programme synopsis ‘Richard’s eye for the ladies and lust for power threaten family ties’. And he has an affair with his niece.Oh dear. That’s not ‘our Dickon’, surely.

    I’m fine, by the way. I really don’t care much where he’s buried and developed a sneaking admiration for Margaret Beaufort years ago. And Anthony Woodville,

  9. Melissa Brown says:

    “Heck, you might even come to have a sneaking admiration for Margaret Beaufort.” ~~ Susan! Have you been reading my diary! I’ve barely been able to admit it to myself but after reading Michael Jones’ part in The Women of the Cousins’ War, she doesn’t seem so one dimensional, and comes across as extraordinary actually!

    Loved this list, really: )

  10. Ally says:

    I love this! Now, there’s being a Ricardian, a WOTR enthusiast and an historian, but this goes to a whole new level of ‘what the hell ?’ I am not a ‘bride’ ‘but may have just have had a few close calls with some of them…..good luck and all that, but I’ll stick to my reference books and a night in on the sofa with my- uncrowned- other half!

  11. Edith says:

    Number 6:

    “Your dog is named Lovell.”

    That is pure wickedness, lolol!

  12. Trish Wilson says:

    EOY never condemned him? What has that got to do with anything?

  13. Philippa says:

    I can’t tell you how relieved I am that you haven’t spilt the beans about that missing front tooth because it means you haven’t noticed the lock of black hair that I keep in a locket that never ever leaves my person.

  14. RedCyan1 says:

    Yes to most of them, especially number 1!

  15. Astropoet says:

    I don’t fancy being anybody’s Bride at the moment, and especially not a Medieval Monarch’s being as life expectancy was kind of low and I like being independent!

    However, if pushed in some sort of insane fantasy scenario, I’d rather be a Bride of Gloucester than a Bride of Henry VIII’s. For obvious reasons…

    • k9feline says:

      A better option than either of them would be the bride of Henry Tudor. You get to reign as queen for longer than two years and you don’t have to worry about being divorced or beheaded.

      • Joann K says:

        No, you just get to doe of childbirth complications before you’re forty, poor woman

        • k9feline says:

          Yeah, there aren’t really a lot of good options for being an English king’s bride in the 15th-16th centuries. Henry IV’s 2 brides? The first one dies before he even becomes king, the second is accused of witchcraft by her stepson and is locked away in a dungeon for several years.

          Being Henry V’s bride? You get to be queen no longer than Anne Neville, only it’s because your husband dies. As a consolation prize, you do get to have a romance with a sexy Welshman…and die of childbirth complications before you’re 40.

          Margaret of Anjou and Elizabeth Woodville both got to live much longer than most 15th-16th English king’s brides…long enough to experience their husband’s deaths, their sons disinherited and killed (three sons in Woodville’s case), and their own reputations dragged through the mud both at the time and for posterity.

          So all in all, being Henry Tudor’s bride seems like the best of a very bad list of options.

  16. Shannon says:

    Well, I’m not a slavish Ricardian (despite the boar mug I’m currently drinking from), but you have to admit, he was probably a hotty*.

    Oh! And he’s not ‘Dickon’, he’s ‘Super-Rick’. I’m not helping myself here, am I.

    *Not so much now, admittedly…

  17. Jill G says:

    I could never get past Richard killing Anthony Woodville. I have always been half in love with Anthony as well as Edward IV. I can lay the blame for these crushes squarely on the shoulders of Sharon Kay Penman (The Sunne in Splendor) and Jan Westcott (the White Rose).

  18. Hans./. says:

    uhm… I did exclaim the wrong name once. But I don’t think it was Richard or Dickon! LoL And sadly for me, my partner *did* notice. Fortunately, I don’t own a dog. And I don’t think I qualify for any of the others…
    Yet, I still have a certain fondness for Dickon. Uhm… I mean Richard. I just can’t help it. It’s these darned Yorkist ancestors of mine!

  19. Hailzy says:

    It’s time to come clean, I admit, I too would willingly be a Bride of Gloucester, I don’t know why, there’s just *something* about him! The scoliosis wouldn’t put me off, as I have severe scoliosis in my spine, but I’m not hunched up, and you can’t even see it with my clothes on, so I’m pretty sure his wouldn’t be noticeable either. I did enjoy ‘The White Queen’ on the beeb, but only because Aneurin was rather scrummy! Love the website, only just found it but its fab, well done!

  20. Barbara J. Underwood says:

    Hilarious, Susan, thanks. I’m not a BoG, but may have to name a dog Lovell — if I ever get one.

  21. Teka Lynn says:

    I am now gently kicking myself for not naming my cat “Catesby”.

    You know you’re a Real Ricardian when you have a pet rat, cat, and dog, all named after Richard III’s advisors…and a pot-bellied pig, preferably white, named Richard. Most of us, sadly, cannot afford a horse to name White Surrey.

  22. Barbara Paine says:

    I really enjoyed this post, I believe that the “Saint Richard” crowd, some of whom have made him into a Medieval Man For The New Millennium” have actually done him a disservice. I’m thinking books like “A Rose For The Crown” etc. Richard was a very complex individual, which I think is part of his allure. Why do so many writers have to make him either all good, or all bad?

  23. Matt W. says:

    Marry me, Susan. That way there can be a groom of Higgimbotham and your ego stroked even more. Seriously, is that all you can do is carry on a 529+ year resentment ? Marry me, Susan.

  24. Matt W. says:

    P.S. I may even cry “Higginbotham” while climaxing. Well I doubt it, but since you raised the point, counselor, it is fair.

  25. Tristan Jones says:

    Personally I believe Richard III was neither a villain or hero, however his reputation has been blacken ever since his death. Same goes for Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret of Anjou.

    You only have to compare Richard’s reputation with that Henry VIII, who towards the latter part of his life was a paranoid tyrant who executed two of his wives (Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard) and might have executed a couple of more (Anne of Cleves and Katherine Parr) if circumstances had been slightly different.

    • Tristan Jones says:

      I should have added that Richard III has a certain appeal. It is hard for myself to describe, underdog appeal prehaps.

  26. Jo says:

    should be called ” widows of Gloucester”, they are even worse

  27. Gail says:

    I am so glad I found this blog! I can’t stand Philppa Gregory, reading TOBG was like being massaged with sandpaper, and I’ve never even attempted TWQ, but I was sucked in by the TV series, for the obvious reason – Aneurin Barnard. He looked so much like I always imagined RIII, and was the right age (so sick of old bearded men playing him, he never made old bones, poor lad) and he was complex and enigmatic. Perfect. The reconstruction of Richard’s skull looks so much like Barnard I almost fell off my chair.