Article: Kerry | @kit_thruthewire and Altersaside
Let’s talk about the Tudor Rose. We saw the symbol twice in 2021: Louis’ jersey from the yet-to-be-released 28 Official Programme clothing line at the Away From Home Festival, and Harry’s outfit for LA Night 1 (Love on Tour 2021).
*Louis picture used with permission from twitter user @littlefreakIou
*Harry picture used with permission from nikkimmedia.com
More recently we see the image on Harry’s new tour merch (the bunny circle t-shirt), and as background images during “Late Night Talking” at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend.
*merch picture used with permission from twitter user @valeria170719
But what is it? And how does it relate to Larry? Well, here at No Stunts Magazine, we’re all about giving you information and allowing you to draw your own conclusions. Let’s go!
Tudor Rose in History
The Tudor Rose is an image of the white rose from the House of York combined with the red rose from the House of Lancaster. (Add love stuff) It was symbolically created at the end of the War of the Roses (a civil war spanning from 1455-1487) and represents the merging of the two conflicting houses through the marriage of Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York. The Tudor Rose symbolizes unity, respect, loyalty, allegiance, hope, joy, and creativity. All of which came about following the long civil war. It was adopted as the national symbol of England and is common to see it throughout the country on buildings, uniforms, and even currency.
One of the battles that took place during the war was at Bishopsgate (sound familiar?). Often referred to as the siege of London, this battle began when the Lancastrian army attempted to take over the city but were held off by the London militia and helpful reinforcements. In the process, though, Bishopsgate burned and the city was almost breached. (Setting fire to history, anyone?)
**Gay coincidence 1: Bishopsgate is also home to one of the most extensive collections on LGBTQ+ history, politics, and culture in the UK. Housed in the Bishopsgate Institute’s Special Collections and Archives, they also host the UK Leather and Fetish Archive which documents the history and heritage of fetish, kink, and BDSM in the UK. Click the link at the end of this article to delve deeper into this amazing institute and their special collection.
Gay coincidence 2: the Institute held an archive installation of objects, ephemera, and media highlighting 40 moments and stories in London’s LGBTQ+ history at the Barbican Center, which is where Harry filmed scenes for his “As It Was” music video. The exhibit opened the week after Harry’s shoot.
Tudor Rose and Tarot
The Tudor Rose is used in one of the foundational designs for tarot decks as well, Rider Waite. Alter has read tarot since before One Direction was formed, teaches tarot classes, and reads professionally. Here’s their take:
The most dramatic card you will find the Tudor Rose in is the Major Arcana Death card. This card represents a transformation so extreme in someone’s life that they feel a part of them has died. There is pain and sadness with losing a piece of yourself, even when it is the best thing for you. England went through a transformation so extreme during the War of the Roses it was likened to the death and rebirth of the country.
This card reminds us to chase after happiness, with the person in bright yellow robes. It also shows the importance of seeking unity and allegiance in our own lives by building a community, with the Tudor Rose on the Death’s flag.
However, the card I really want to highlight is the 3 of Pentacles. This card depicts a worker standing on a long bench, dressed in a purple robe with a yellow apron. The worker is speaking to two people standing below the worker on the ground. These two people are dressed in heavier and more extravagant robes than the worker, showing their wealth. The Tudor Rose is carved into the building, just below the pentacles.
This card is meant to show aspects of collaboration and knowing your worth when you have a skill. The worker is the only one who knows how to build this church, and the people on the ground have the money to pay. That is why the worker is in a “higher” position than the employers.
The worker being dressed in purple is important because it is a color very rarely used in the deck. He uses his access to universal intuition and manifestation magic, along with his learned physical skills, to create architecture. The significance of this card for the Tudor Rose can be seen carved just below the 3 pentacles.
The rose, by itself, has been seen as a symbol for secrecy since ancient times. It is used in the Greek myth of Harpocrates (the god of silence), which tells a story of Cupid gifting a rose to Harpocrates to keep the god from telling of his indiscretions.
In Latin the term sub-rosa translates to “under the rose.” This term was used regularly to signal a location was a safe place to keep secrets. Once the houses of York and Lancaster designed the Tudor Rose it was used all over England to indicate sub-rosa. Historically, you can see the Tudor Rose carved into confessionals, meeting halls, and council chambers to signify confidence may be divulged without the fear of being shared outside the walls.
Coming back to the 3 of pentacles, this card indicates the need to know your own worth based on your skill level. Don’t assume you are bringing less to the table because you’re not a rich lord. Use your inherent abilities for manifestation to create the kind of work life you want. And, of course, be willing to create a safe place for people to share secrets.
In regards to Harry and Louis? I think it’s easy to see the connection for each of them. They both have skill and talent that their management does not, they both have had to learn about their own worth, and they are absolutely both magical. Not to mention the way they both create environments for fans to feel safe enough to share secrets with Harry telling us to, “to feel free to be whoever your want to be,” and Louis saying, “I need you and you need me.”
Tudor Rose and Larry
We obviously don’t know Louis and Harry’s motivation behind the use of the Tudor Rose, but we can certainly find a lot of telling historical facts that may play into their interest in the symbol. The War of the Roses was incredibly long – lasting around 32 years – and both sides gained and lost the upper hand multiple times. The war raged behind the scenes (behind closed doors and out of the public eye) and was an exhausting struggle for power. Extensive strategies went into planning battles and alliances, while many key players switched sides throughout the conflict. Double-crossing was a normal occurrence along with using political connections for personal gain.
This all sounds so very familiar to the fight we see happening within the music industry and the battles we suspect Louis and Harry are waging personally for their freedom. Maybe their use of the Rose is indicative of their plan to be victorious and come out stronger on the other side. They have had wins throughout these last twelve years and both have come out stronger. The battle is still going but these two have a chance to win the war. After all, the marriage of Henry Tudor & Elizabeth of York brought about the end of the Wars of the Roses and started a new royal dynasty for England. We may never know, but we’ll keep having “faith in the future” because Louis said to Harry told us, “we’ll be all right.”
**Info on the Bishopsgate Institute’s Special Collections and Archives