Edward V was born in 1470, the eldest son of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville. He ascended the throne at the age of twelve upon his father's death in April 1483, but reigned only two months before being deposed by his uncle, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. England experienced very turbulent times in the second half of the fifteenth century, when the conflicts popularly known as the Wars of the Roses took place between the houses of Lancaster and York.
The red and white roses are not thought to have been used by the two sides at the time of the conflct, and their origin seems to lie in the badges of the two royal houses. The name Wars of the Roses was first coined by Sir Walter Scott in the early nineteenth century.
Edward IV's victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton in 1461 ushered in a period of relative calm and stability, although he was breifly overthrown in 1471 and there was still sporadic fighting between the two rival parties until 1487. However, Edward IV died prematurely at the age of forty, leaving his throne to a child and the country was presented with a royal minority, usually a sure recipe for plots, conspiracies and political uncertainty.