Buckingham: a tragic henchman of King Richard III

The Duke of Buckingham, whom Richard always referred to as Buckingham’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester certainly played a major role in the Shakespearean play of the same name, Richard III. Buckingham was a loyal and dedicated confidant of Richard. His quest was to bring Ricardo to the throne as king. They both conspired to that end. He complied with the orders and requests made by Richard. If not, he would get someone else to complete the job. Richard Duke of Gloucester was finally crowned King Richard III.

One must ask then, “Why was Buckingham executed by Richard III?” One possible answer is that Richard seemed to be the type of person who would leave no stones unturned. Nor did he leave witnesses. He removed every trace or possible link that led to him as the person who ordered the murder or death of someone. He did not want such actions to affect him when he was crowned king.

Another possible answer is this, when Richard was crowned king, he once again gave Buckingham an order to eliminate a prince. Buckingham was apparently depressed and did not comply with the order. To add insult to injury, he bypassed Richard III and joined the rebel forces against him fighting in the fields. He was persecuted, captured, imprisoned and executed by order of Ricardo III.

Why was there a turning point for Buckingham? Why did a man so loyal to his cousin, Richard, before being crowned king, now turn against him once he was crowned King Richard III? Was he tired of being a tool for Richard to use when deleting people? Did you feel that your time had come and that it would be the next because you knew Richard’s way of working?

Also, why was Richard so loyally dependent on his cousin, Buckingham, before he was crowned king, gave him all the praise, gave him authority to act on his behalf, and now, after being crowned king, turned against him? Did Richard want him out of his way too? Was Buckingham now seen as a threat to Richard III as his cousin, now that Richard is king? One must wonder!

With Richard III eliminating everyone who was close to the throne, he made sure that no one but himself got the throne. By securing his position, did he now fear his cousin, Buckingham, who may be too close to the throne? Note that a cousin could also become next in line for the throne by virtue of the death of others, as in this case. Buckingham had the opportunity and the reason to be king; however, it never reached the top. His last words to the jailer before his beheading were: “Now you can take me to the block of shame!”

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