Thursday, 26 March 2015

Richard III - history brought alive with style and grace

On Sunday 22 March the people of Leicester, plus viewers on news bulletins across the world, stood up to ten deep and watched in wonder. Their former monarch Richard The Third, "King of England and France, Lord of Ireland" made his final journey before being received by the church. He now lies in repose in front of the baptismal font in the Cathedral church of St Martin's in Leicester. His remains will be re-interred in a special service this Thursday 26th March, shown live on UK's Channel Four.
The statue of Richard III outside the Cathedral is now festooned with white roses
His last journey was preceded by a dawn vigil at Fenn Lane Farm thought to be near where the King lost his life. 

Keeping watch, dressed in Richard's livery colours and battle ready
His last journey around Leicestershire villages associated with the battle of Bosworth, the battlefield sites themselves and his return to the City of Leicester was in turn by hearse, a funeral bier pulled by local cadets and a horse-drawn gun carriage with medieval escort.
The King's cortege met by mayors and officials at Leicester's city boundary on Bow Bridge
The out riders: two mounted police officers, two medieval knights set off from St Nicholas church

Richard's simple oak coffin passes through Greyfriars where I was waiting
People watch on a big screen as the coffin is carried into the Cathedral

Richard's coffin is draped in a specially embroidered pall
A guide to the services for the historic week 

Leicester shop window displays in homage to a long fallen King 

The reburial of an annointed  King of England is a unique event and to quote England's poet laureate "It is a privilege .... to have seen the style and grace with which the City of Leicester has made history alive." That process, after a three day period of repose for Richard, starts today.

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