Yorkshire

Dignitaries from across England's largest county are gathering in Sheffield to celebrate Yorkshire Day.

Dozens of mayors are to parade in their regalia from the Town Hall to the city's cathedral for a service to celebrate all things Yorkshire.

But what connection does the military have to the festivities?

Yorkshire Day - previously also known as 'Minden Day' - was first celebrated by the Yorkshire Ridings Society on August 1 1975.

According to the society, August 1 was chosen as it was the date of victory at the Battle of Minden in Germany in 1759, during the Seven Years War.

British forces passed through gardens on that day on their way to battle, which were blooming with flowers.

Soldiers picked white roses and placed them in their headdresses and coats.

The battle is now marked by the Army allowing soldiers to wear roses in their caps to commemorate those who fell during battle, and Yorkshire regiments have traditionally sported the white rose.

Yorkshire Flag
The white rose on Yorkshire's flag

The origins of the white rose symbol go back to the fourteenth century, meanwhile.

It represents the Virgin Mary, who has often been called the Mystical Rose of Heaven, while the colour white is seen as a symbol of light, innocence, purity, joy and glory.

It was used as the symbol of Yorkist forces opposed to the House of Lancaster during the Wars of the Roses, before it was symbolically united by King Henry VII with the red rose of Lancaster to create the Tudor Rose, symbol of the Tudor dynasty.

The white rose now features on the official Yorkshire Flag, and was engraved on the coffin holding the skeleton of King Richard III, who was found underneath a Leicester car park in 2012.

 

The monarch was the last Yorkist king of England and the last to die in battle. His coffin was made by Michael Ibsen, a distant relative whose DNA helped to prove the king's identity, before being interred at Leicester Cathedral in March 2015.

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