According to Philippa Gregory, Margaret Beaufort had the best motive, because with their deaths her son Henry became 2 steps closer to the throne, and also she hated Elizabeth Woodville.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Tyler Durden, Kobunite, Pieter Geerkens, jwenting, Louis Rhys May 25 '14 at 6:54

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  • Did she have any influence with Richard III? – Felix Goldberg May 21 '14 at 6:31
  • No, they hated each other of course, especially after the first failed rebellion against Richard III where Margaret was the main endorser. Man, she endorsed a lot of rebellions. What a woman... – Stefany May 21 '14 at 6:48
  • It's impossible to say, but very much a possibility. The princes were a significant roadblock to Henry's ascension to the throne. He needed to re-legitimise Elizabeth of York by repealing the Titulus Regius to have a decent claim, but in doing so would also re-legitimise the princes. – Alan Kael Ball May 21 '14 at 10:17
  • lol 'impossible to say and possible.' I crack myself up with grammar sometimes. – Alan Kael Ball May 21 '14 at 10:43
  • I don't think this makes sense. Whenever a person is suspected of a crime, both motive and opportunity must be considered. Margaret may have had ample motive, but shed had no opportunity to do away with the princes (since she had no power under Richard). So there is really nothing to discuss. – Felix Goldberg May 21 '14 at 17:32

It's possible.

The princes were a significant roadblock to Henry's ascension to the throne.

Even though Richard III had the princes declared illegitimate in 1484 by way of a Titulus Regius, Henry's claim to the throne was tenuous at best (some 20+ ahead of him in succession).

He needed to marry into the royal family and re-legitimise Elizabeth of York by repealing the Titulus Regius. The problem with that is that in doing so he would also re-legitimise the princes. If the princes were alive, Henry would have no legal claim to the throne at all.

With them out of the way, his claim would be extremely strong as the husband of the rightful queen (although in practice no woman had ever become queen of England and wouldn't until the accession of Elizabeth's granddaughter Mary 60-odd years later).

Whether it was Margaret or Henry who killed the princes - or indeed any other actor (Henry Stafford, Thomas Stanley) - we shall never know, but it is possible given the circumstances.

Interestingly, some suggest that the princes survived (pretenders not withstanding), though this is just speculation.

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