Sunday, March 12, 2006

Question from Emily - Elizabeth of York = Queen of Hearts?

Hello! A very strange question.... I am getting a tattoo of the Queen of Hearts flower that she holds in her hand, and while researching the symbols of playing cards, I learned that the Queen of Hearts was believed by some to be Elizabeth of York. Is there any proof of this? If so, I would assume the flower is the Tudor flower in the crest, which does bear a resembalance to the flower on the card... Just thought I'd ask!


Lara said...

I was researching this exact question last year while I was working on the FAQ for this site, but I haven't been able to find anything which would count as "proof". But, on the other hand, I also haven't found anything that would discount it either.

Not a very satisfactory answer, I'm afraid. Maybe someone else has some good sources?

Anonymous said...

There is no strong proof that it represents Elizabeth of York, but the traditional portrait of the queen of hearts does show a woman remarkably similar to the c.1500 portrait of Elizabeth in her red dress clutching a white rose. Anne Boleyn has been suggested as a candidate for the queen of spades, but it's deeply unlikely given the fashion. Katherine of Aragon's headdresses were also slightly different to the fashions favoured during her mother-in-law's time, but it's those late 15th century headdresses which are shown in the playing cards suggesting that it Elizabeth of York did in some way inspire the playing card queens.