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?

BritishNut56 said...

I haven't been able to find any 'proof', either. Quite a few sources mention that Elizabeth was the basis for the queen...but then it was also read that Katherine of Aragon was a candidate, too.

Both favored the type of headdress which is found on the card so at least it can be figured out (I guess)that the queen isn't Anne Boleyn :)

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.