Richard was the younger son of Sir John Grey and Elizabeth Woodville. Following the death of Sir John Grey, Elizabeth became Queen Consort when she married the Yorkist King Edward IV. Richard was just a young boy when his mother married the king, but he later became a prominent player at court. In 1475, along with Thomas, his elder brother, Richard was knighted. In 1478 he was recorded as appearing in the joust to celebrate the marriage of his half-brother Richard to the child bride Ann Mowbray.
In the 1470s Richard served at the court of the Prince of Wales, his half-brother the future Edward V, at Ludlow Castle. He was at Ludlow with the young prince when Edward IV died, and Richard, his uncle Anthony Woodville, and the young prince started their journey to London.
Richard Duke of Gloucester met them on the way and arrested Anthony Woodville and Richard Grey, accusing them of plotting an ambush and being bad company for the prince and bad advisors to the late king. Richard was held at Middleham Castle before being moved to Pontefract Castle. On June 25th 1483, Richard, along with his uncle Anthony and Prince Edward's tutor (Thomas Vaughan), was executed on the orders of Richard Duke of Gloucester. Only the next day, Richard seized the English throne and became King Richard III.