Richard III King Of England Laid To Rest

I have written about Richard III in previous articles, including speaking to Bob Woosnam – Savage about the findings on his skeleton after it was discovered in the carpark in 2013. This month I have been to Leicester and York to cover the events surrounding his re-interrment.

At 10.50am on the Sunday morning, Leicester University opened its doors and brought out the sealed coffin containing Richard’s remains, revealing it to the world for the first time. I attended with other journalists and invited guests to pay my respects to a King who was from a time period I love so much. The very spiritual and moving service included readings by Revd Canon Dr Steven Foster, Professor Sarah Hainsworth, and a very powerful reading by Turi King. The coffin was then laid in the back of a hearse and everyone remained silent as the hearse pulled away to begin the journey around Leicestershire. Someone shouted “God save King Richard” loudly, a large crowd followed the car and he was on his journey back to Bosworth Field where he lost his life more than 500 years ago.

While the cortege was on its journey, I decided to check out the Richard III Visitor Centre. It tells the King’s story through amazing displays and effects, as well as interactive forensic and archaeology stations. The highlight of the visitor centre is the hole in the ground where he lay from 1485 to 2013. From the visitor centre I wandered around Leicester city centre amazed by the crowds that were gathering, waiting to see the King pass by.

I decided to make my way to Bow Bridge which is where the King would re-enter the city. People were everywhere, on the top of buildings, standing on bins, even hanging out of trees to get any vantage point possible of the King as he was driven onto the bridge. The last time he crossed the medieval bridge that was in relatively the same spot as the modern one he was naked, slung over the back of a horse covered in blood and dirt allegedly with his brain visible. This time was the total opposite, almost like he was returning victorious from Bosworth. There was a silence as the Lord Mayor and City Mayor officially welcomed King Richard back into the city, and gave speeches reminding us all of our mortality then the hearse moved over the bridge through the crowds lining the city before being received into the Cathedral.

In the three days that followed, over 20,000 people filed past his coffin in the Cathedral to pay their respects.

On Thursday 26th March, the day of re-interment I was in York to attend a special service for the King at York Minster. A lot of Yorkshire people still believe this should be the King’s final resting place, so strongly that at least 10 people walked out of the service in protest during the homily. This was because the Dean of York, The Very Reverend Dr Vivienne Faull was saying how wonderful the events had been and how lovely it has been to build bridges with Leicester. After the service the Mayor of York Cllr Ian Gillies led a procession to the Mansion House where he gave a speech about how the city of York mourned Richard’s death in 1485.

York is the only city that documented mourning him, and this is one of the reasons why people feel that he should have been brought back to York to be laid to rest in the city that he loved, surrounded by the people that loved him. A lot of hard-core Yorkists have said they will not stop campaigning until he is interred in York Minster. People from Leicester and York feel so strongly about the situation even after the court ruling, it is almost like a football rivalry and will not be forgotten anytime soon. Richard is still proving to be controversial more than 500 years on.


You May Also Like

April 2015
April 2015


Must Read

No results found.