Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, will be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral March 26, 2015, after a representational procession containing his remains that will take place close to where he died.
The former king will be conveyed to the church in a cortege, with his remains inside of an oak coffin lined with lead. The procession will go by Bosworth Field prior to getting to the church. A service will then be held there and conducted by Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols. The service and procession is scheduled for March 22, a Sunday, with the final interment on March 26.
The service will be performed at sun set because as the bishop reminded people, that is when the thought of things like death comes to mind. The coffin of Richard III will be laid inside in repose. The church itself can be traced clear to pre-Reformation times. It was picked because of the former king’s Catholic background.
The service is expected to be very emotional, according to Bishop Stevens, especially when Richard’s coffin is brought into the church, due to the symbolism and in remembering Richard for the man he was. He added that they want to remind folks of the point in English history during the timeframe of Richard III’s death and life.
The bishop went on to say that the timeframe was when there was a change of reign, as well as the finish of a fierce civil war, and the start of when the great writer of sonnets, William Shakespeare, was to start his works. The bishop said all of those were vital points to recall no matter if the observers to this are Christian or other faiths.
Originally, Richard III’s grave was lost and unknown, but then the king’s body was found amongst the rubble of an ancient monastery in 2012, which was discovered under a car park in Leicester City. When the bones were found by the archaeologists, it showed evidence the former king had been buried quickly, as the grave was so small that Richard’s head was placed next to his side. They discovered eight head wounds, one that went clear through the skull, as well as a slash at the base of his skull that removed a huge piece of bone. Prior to the discovery of the bones, some rumors placed his body as having been thrown into the local river after he was killed in battle.
The procession of the coffin will also visit all the landmarks that are linked to Richard’s momentous last trip to the Bosworth battlefield where in died in August 1485. He was battling Lancastrian troops being commanded by Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII, and brought an end to the War of the Roses.
The remains will be buried in a tomb constructed from Yorkshire Swaledale stone. Visitors will be allowed to see the memorial starting the next day. The reburial puts an end to argument by the king’s relatives, who had wanted his bones buried in York.