Tags: richard iii | burial | rest | 530 years

Richard III Gets a Proper Funeral 530 Years After His Death

Image: Richard III Gets a Proper Funeral 530 Years After His Death
Members of the public view the coffin of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral, central England March 23, 2015. (Darren Staples/Reuters/Landov)  

By    |   Monday, 23 Mar 2015 01:24 PM

Richard III, the last English king to die in battle, was laid to rest with much pomp on Sunday — 530 years after he was killed.

According to the BBC, Richard III is famous because of the eponymous play by William Shakespeare, but his burial site was a mystery until 2012, when archeologists found his skeleton underneath a parking lot.

Richard's skeleton was distinctive because of its curved spine — which likely gave him a hunchback — and it was discovered upon forensic examination that he died from two strong blows to the head in the year 1485, near the end of the Wars of the Roses.

On Sunday, roughly 35,000 people turned out to watch a funeral procession that culminated in a re-burial ceremony at Greyfriars Church in Leicester.

"I was one of the lucky ones to get an invite so how could I not come to see this all," said one woman in the procession, Rebecca McCole, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. "I have always been interested in history, especially in the British monarchy. This visit has been really inspiring and everyone has been so helpful and delightful."

Richard was villainized in Shakespeare's play, and he remains a controversial king.

He was a loyal follower of his eldest brother, Edward IV, but upon becoming king after Edward's death, he imprisoned his young sons and executed a number of nobles — which led to rebellions. On the positive side of his reign, he made the public courts conduct business in English, which helped the common man.

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Richard III, the last English king to die in battle, was laid to rest with much pomp on Sunday — 530 years after he was killed.
richard iii, burial, rest, 530 years
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2015-24-23
Monday, 23 Mar 2015 01:24 PM
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