Since, by his actions, Richard appeared to be faithful to Anne throughout his marriage (although there is some indication that he may have strayed once or twice) and he seemed to genuinely mourn his wife’s death, many Ricardians retrofitted these behaviors and flat-footedly declared that he therefore must have been in love with her since his childhood.
Regardless of Richard’s motivations to marry Anne--and surely Anne’s inheritance played some major part--his behavior is the more telling as to his feelings for his wife once they were married. For one, in order to marry Anne, Richard had to effectively accept a prenuptial that denied transfer of Anne’s inheritance to him (the amount granted as condition that Clarence drop his claim) should their marriage end in divorce. (I could only find second hand reference to this in Markham and Kendall and this from Croyland:
“...At last, their most loving brother, king Edward, agreed to act as mediator between them; and in order that the discord between princes of such high rank might not cause any hindrance to the carrying out of his royal intentions in relation to the affairs of France, the whole misunderstanding was at last set at rest, upon the following terms: the marriage of the duke of Gloucester with Anne before-named was to take place, and he was to have such and so much of the earl's lands as should be agreed upon between them through the mediation of arbitrators; while all the rest were to remain in the possession of the duke of Clarence...”
However, I found a mystery surrounding the marriage. Up until the publication of Peter Clarke’s article in 2005 on English Royal Marriages and the Papal Penitentiary, it was thought that Richard married Anne without the requisite Papal dispensation. According to this article: “...they had sought a dispensation to marry from the penitentiary in early 1472, for it was granted on 22 April that year, and they were probably married shortly afterwards.” So, by the date on the dispensation, they should have been married no earlier than the end of April of that year (allowing time for the dispensation to reach them). But according to a letter (690) written by John Paston on the 17th of February 1472, Richard and Anne had already married! This predates the dispensation. If the date on Paston’s letter is accurate, then Richard and Anne must have wedded without this document, but only with the assurance that they would get it soon.
Assuming these dates are correct and that Richard had less to gain from the marriage because the “spoils” were divided between Anne and her sister, Isabel and possibly because Richard would be left with little if they divorced, can one conclude that by the time of their marriage, Richard was following his heart?
Clarke, Peter D. English Royal Marriages and the Papal Penitentiary in the Fifteenth Century. English Historical Review Vol. CXX No. 488. 2005
Croyland Chronicle Continuations, 1453-1486. Richard III Society, American Branch http://www.r3.org/bookcase/croyland/index.html
Gairdner, James. The Paston Letters 1422-1509 A.D. Volume III, Westminster. Archibald Constable and Co., Ltd. 1900. Letter 690
Kendall, Paul Murray. Richard the Third. New York. W. W. Norton & Company Inc. 1955.
Markham, Sir Clements R. Richard III: His Life & Character Reviewed in the Light of Recent Research. New York. Russell & Russell. First published 1906 (rescued 1968 by Russell & Russell).