The "process" depended on the circumstances of the moment. Henry VIII was close at hand when his father died in 1509, so he was immediately aware. When Henry died in 1547 at Whitehall, his son Edward was at Hertford. Henry's former brother-in-law and Edward's uncle, Edward Seymour, was the leading politician of the period and went personally to Hertford to inform Edward of his accession. Mary found out about Edward's death through informants, since the succession had been altered away from her. Elizabeth was under house arrest at Hatfield when Mary died in London, and a member of Mary's household, Nicholas Throckmorton, rode to Hatfield with Mary's ring to inform Elizabeth of Mary's death.
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