Ceremony fit for a king: England's Richard III to be reburied 530 years after death

Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:49am EDT
 
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - King Richard III, the medieval English monarch whose remains were found under a car park three years ago, will be reburied next week nearly 530 years after he was slain in battle and dumped in an humble grave.

The remains of Richard - the last English king to die in battle when he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in central England in 1485 - were found in 2012.

His body will be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral next week in an oak coffin designed by a descendant whose DNA helped identify the remains. He will also win the regal recognition supporters say his conqueror Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, denied him.

"The whole point was if Richard's remains were found he would get the dignified and honorable burial he was denied in 1485," said Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society, which was formed 90 years ago and now has several thousand supporters worldwide.

Shakespeare depicted Richard as a tyrannical, hunchbacked, bloodthirsty monster who murdered his way to the throne on the death of his brother Edward IV and famously went down fighting to keep his crown crying out "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!".

Among his alleged victims were former King Henry VI, another of his brothers, and his own nephews - the "Princes in the Tower", one of them 12-year-old Edward V, the rightful king.

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A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in central London February 5, 2013.REUTERS/Andrew Winning