In Feb. 1461, just prior to his engagement in battle--a decisive one of the Wars of the Roses, Edward Plantagenet, Earl of March, eldest son of Richard, Duke of York, who died in battle at Wakefield, far in North England, encouraged his men when they saw in the sky a marvel: three suns appeared to blaze in the sky! The soldiers were terrified, taking these three suns as a token of bad omen. But Edward said: Do yo see these Three Suns in the sky? Fear them not, my fellows! For they stand in the Place of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost! They assure us of the Blessing of Heaven upon our enterprise today! We can but emerge Victorious!" And so it was that Edward overwhelmingly defeated the Army of the Lancastrian leaders at Mortimer's Cross in Wales, and it was only a couple or three weeks after this smashing victory of the Yorkists that Edward was named King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland.
To commemorate his and his army's encounter with this seemingly impossible astrological phenomenon, Edward chose as his emblem "The Sun In Splendor," the three suns in the sky representing Divine favor. Later, this emblem was supplemented by another one, "The Rose In Splendor," three shining White Roses, combining his family's badge of the White Rose combined with the Sun-symbols as they appear on the major badge.
The symbolic brilliance of the Sun in Splendor is altogether appropriate for Edward the Fourth (once Earl of March), since he was fabulously handsome; he had a metaphorically shining appearance, wearing the most gorgeous robes and wraps and shirts and doublets and leggings and boots and shoes than any monarch in England since Richard II; his wardrobe matched the splendor of that of Duke Charles the Bold and his Court in Burgundy. Edward was in fact the handsomest King--among the handsomest men, as people said, in Western Europe, and among the very handsomest of Kings in English history: and that's saying a good deal. Indeed, even after he had gained a good deal of weight in his last year, Edward was still handsome, still a striking figure. It's unlikely that people in his days, even in our own, would fail to notice a King, at least 6ft, 3 in. tall, wearing a black furred, jeweled hat, a black velvet suit in company with black riding boots complete with spurs, and a remarkable gold chain resting on his shoulders. In such clothing Edward IV may have appeared as he dropped into an inn anonymously with his friend William Lord Hastings to take part in the gambling, drinking and over-all revel at the tavern.