Queen Elizabeth enters the stage with members of her family and tells them she is fearful because her husband King Edward 6th only grows sicker each day and a recovery is not likely. She is also fearful because her two sons are too small to gain control of the throne after their father has passed and Gloster who is hostile towards her is in line to gain it.
The duke of Buckingham and Stanley the earl of Derby. They report that King Edward is doing better, and that he wants to make peace between Richard and Elizabeth’s kinsmen, between whom there is long-standing hostility. Gloster enters the room with Hastings, complaining bitterly about the lies which "they" tell the king. When asked who "they" are, Gloster accuses the queen's brother, Lord Rivers, and her two sons. He then blames them for the recent imprisonment of Lord Hastings, and for the current jailing of his brother Clarence. Queen Elizabeth is outraged at these suggestions, and threatens to tell the king.
Queen Margaret arrives and in an aside she says that Elizabeth has her to thank for the throne and calls Gloster a devil for the murders he has committed. Margaret, bitter about her overthrow and the killing of her family by the people who stand before her, begins to curse all those present. She prays that Elizabeth will outlive her glory, and see her husband and children die before her, just as Margaret has. She curses Hastings, Rivers, and Dorset to die early deaths and finally, she curses Gloster, praying to the heavens that he will mistake his friends for enemies and that he will never sleep peacefully.
The entire company is summoned into King Edward's chambers. Richard remains behind and meets with two murderers whom he sends to kill Clarence.