A piece of real history has come to Auckland castle, in the form of the recently discovered royal bed belonging to king Henry the 7th and his wife queen Elizabeth of York.
It is important piece of Historical furniture carved at a pivotal time in English history.
Henry VII became King of England and Lord of Ireland after seizing the crown in 1485 and reigned until his death in 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor.
Henry was born into a country which was divided by conflict and belonged to House of Lancaster, who was fighting with the House of York, for control of the throne, in what became known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry’s mother Margaret was a descendant of Edward III, which gave Henry a real, but tenuous claim to the throne.
Having secured parliamentary recognition of his title as King of England he married Elizabeth of York thus uniting the House of Lancaster and the House of York. He adopted the Tudor rose as the emblem of England, combining the white rose of York with the red rose of Lancaster thus ending the long lasting feud.
The Royal bed was made out of solid oak and originally painted in many colours for the royal of wedding of Henry and Elizabeth, with the back panels of the bed designed by bishop Richard Fox, friend and confident of Henry. The headboard is composed of 3 panels each exquisitely and intricately carved with religious symbols and motifs.
The paradise bed as it is known as has had its own very chequered career and is claimed to be a fake in some expert quarters, but forensic tests on the hidden paints, have proved that parts of the bed are from the middles ages. The pigments found beneath the 18th century varnish prove without doubt that pigments used were only in existence in the late 1400’s.
The Paradise bed is on loan to Auckland castle until October next year, and is already proving to be a big crowd puller.