Now is the winter of our discontent... Richard III's burial

Royal burials are pretty rare, but the burial of a king dead more than 500 years must be unprecedented. When Richard III (of everlasting Shakespearean infamy) was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 (“A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”), his body was hastily buried and then forgotten about. The body found under what is now a pub car park in Leiester, but was then a church, has now been confirmed by DNA to be the very man himself (other evidence is also conclusive).

It was first announced that he would receive an official reburial in Leicester cathedral, but then York Minster, where he spent almost his whole life before becoming king, wants him instead. Added to this dispute is the fact that those cathedrals are now Church of England, but in his day were Catholic (as was Richard himself), so it has been suggested he should receive Catholic burial rites. Should he do so, and where should he be buried?

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Richard III probably identified more with his Catholic faith than with a particular church building.

I wouldn’t be so sure. He may, after all, have murdered his infant nephew (Edward V) after usurping his throne. Not a particularly Christian thing to do, one might have thought, though others might differ. Then again, that might be Tudor propaganda.

In any case, as a royal, he won’t be buried in some private Catholic church.

I don’t think judging his sincerity is something we can do, or even has much relevance. Popes have murdered in the past, I believe?

He should probably be buried in a place for royals then, with Catholic rites.

I’m really just thinking on the fly here though, I could probably be convinced of anything.

This is a great book showing an investigation into the real Richard III.

Highly recommended.

Most medieval and more recent monarchs are buried in Westminster Abbey, but there are lots of exceptions. King John is in Worcester Cathedral, for instance, by his own dying wish. York Minster would be fine, but Leicester cathedral has only been suggested because his body was found nearby. It has no royal or historical associations.

They should burn the bones and piss on the ashes. The adulation accorded to the monarchy in this country makes me sick.

He’s not a very good advert for the monarchy though, if half the things he’s accused of doing are even remotely true.

On the plus side, he did issue an edict stating that henceforth, both houses of Parliament would have to vote to approve money acts, an important step on the long road to parliamentary sovereignty.

Just been checking up online and it seems that in law, because Richard died without leaving a (known) will, it is the responsibility of the local city council, Leicester, to decide where he should be buried, and it has no intention whatsoever of letting him out of the city, and has even dished out thousands of pounds to buy the plot of land where he was discovered and plans to open a museum. He will be buried in Leicester cathedral early next year and the service will be ecumenical, with both Church of England and Catholic officiators.

He died due to a massive blow to the back of the head which caved his skull in, exactly as reported by contemporary chroniclers, and he was, indeed, a hunchback, despite this being largely thought of these days as propaganda, or at least exaggerated, by his enemies.

With this, the last resting place of every single king of England from Canute (died 1035) to the present day is now known.

I’m an anarchist, I don’t really see much value in parliamentary sovereignty.

Richard was of the family of York, the White Rose in the War of the Roses, and the last of the Plantagenet kings of England. Henry Tudor was a distant claimant on the Lancastrian side–the Red Rose–who defeated Richard.

A lot of what’s ‘known’ about Richard comes from Shakespeare. Was he humpbacked? He certainly suffered from severe scoliosis. Was he ‘evil?’ probably not. Did he have his nephews killed? That hasn’t be either proven or disproven.

What matters most now is tourism. If it were up to me, I’d give him a medieval royal burial in York with Catholic burial rites. And I wouldn’t advertise it.

Jonquil, I agree that Josephine Tey’s book is an excellent rebuttal to Shakespeare’s defamation of the King.

York Minster has given up the fight, and agreed that Richard should be buried in Leicester Cathedral, despite a huge online petition favouring York.

news.sky.com/story/1049155/richa … -leicester

This is what the government and royal family had originally agreed. The focal point of the controversy is now whether he should be given a full state funeral, with some members of parliament calling for this, or, instead, a more private affair.

The ceremony will be presided over by both Church of England and Catholic priests, and he has already been lying in state in the chapel of Leicester University with a CofE and a Catholic chaplain in attendance.

The university has not been granted permission by the royal family to make instrusive examination of his remains.