Richard was the son of Prince Richard, Earl of Cambridge and Anne, sister of Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, the heir to the throne of King Richard II (being the grandson of Princess Philippa of Clarence, daughter of Prince Lionel of Antwerp). His mother died in childbirth and his father was executed shortly before his fourth birthday. He pressed his claim to the English Crown during the reign of his cousin, King Henry VI, whose grandfather had seized the Crown back in 1399. York became regent during the King's periods of madness and was also recognised as heir to the Throne. Eventually, however, relations fell apart and the War of the Roses ensued. The Duke led the Yorkists into numerous battles against King Henry's Lancastrians until he was killed at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460. His son, the Earl of March, snatched the Crown the following year and proclaimed himself King Edward IV.
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