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Wars of the Roses

What is the meaning of the Tudor rose?

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December 06, 2010 11:59PM

Answer - Tudor Rose

It comes from the times of the English War of the Roses between the royal houses of Lancaster (Red Rose emblem) and York (White Rose emblem). The wars ended when Henry Tudor (later Henry VII) of Lancaster defeated Richard III (of York) at the Battle of Bosworth Field (1485) then married Elizabeth of York to unite the two warring factions.

The marriage between the two houses of York and Lancaster was commemorated by the creation of the heraldically beautiful Tudor Rose - a double rose with a White rose in the centre of a Red rose.

The original heraldic Tudor Rose followed the traditional convention of the husband's insignia (half a Red Rose) on the dexter (left, as you look at it) and the wife's (half a White Rose) on the sinister (right, as you look at it). Heraldically, this is termed 'parted per pale'.

Another early way of depicting the union of the Houses of Lancaster and York was to quarter the respective roses with the husband's quartered Red Rose in the top left and bottom right (quarters I & IV) and the quartered White Rose in the top right and bottom left (quarters II & III).

The regally crowned Tudor Rose (a double rose, white on red) with stalk and leaves is now the historical Royal badge of England and uncrowned, is the Floral Emblem of England. It also appears in the heraldic badge of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland along with the Thistle and the Shamrock. The standard Tudor Rose (white on red) also appears in the compartment area of the armorial insignia of Scotland and Canada.