- King Richard lll to be reinterred in March 2015
- A Royal Patron will support the Cathedral Appeal
- The building work begins, creating a space for King Richard
The next steps to the reinterment of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral are announced today. The date of the service in which Richard III will be finally laid to rest will be Thursday 26 March 2015. This is one of three services which will remember the life and death of the only Monarch of England without a marked grave. The mortal remains of Richard III will be received into the care of the Cathedral on the evening of 22 March, will lie in repose for 3 days and will be reburied on the morning of Thursday 26. The following days, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 March, will mark the end of the journey with the reveal of the tomb and a service to mark the completion of the reinterment, and events which will look to the future having laid the King to rest.
The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, said: ‘Our cathedral has been consistently committed to providing a fitting, dignified and memorable ceremony for the reinterment of King Richard. We can now see how this works out in detail and our city and county look forward to all the events of next spring.’
The Very Revd David Monteith said: ‘King Richard’s reinterment in Leicester Cathedral will proclaim afresh his Christian hope in the resurrection. We are now preparing with great care to offer him lasting sanctuary and peace.’
This service will form part of a 7-day programme of events in Leicester and Leicestershire, centred on Richard III. On Sunday 22 March, the University of Leicester will transfer the mortal remains into a lead-lined coffin and will travel from Leicester to Bosworth, remembering the life the King lost and his journey in 1485. Villages related to Richard III’s last days will be included, remembering key moments of King Richard’s last days.
Returning to the city with honour and dignity, accompanied by a dignified cortege and as befitting a king, the coffin will arrive at the Cathedral in the early evening and be transferred to the care of The Church during a service of reception.
For three days King Richard III will lie in repose in his coffin, covered with a commissioned pall, for any who wish to pay their respects. Special arrangements will be in place to allow as many as possible who wish to visit to do so.
Attendance at the Cathedral services will be by invitation of the Dean.
The service of reinterment will be broadcast live on Channel 4 with a programme of highlights shown that evening.
Channel 4 will be covering the events of the week, and will be the only national broadcaster to relay the service of reinterment live. A series of programmes will surround this extraordinary event, covering the extensive work undertaken behind the scenes for the reburial, the discoveries made by scientists analyzing his bones, the history of Richard’s reign and the impact of the discovery on the people of Leicester. The programmes will feature historians, scientists and representatives of the City of Leicester, the University of Leicester team which carried out the dig, the Looking for Richard project who originated the search and the Richard III Society.
Channel 4 Commissioning Editor John Hays says: ‘Having been there at the start of this extraordinary story, we’re proud to be working with our partners in Leicester to bring this, its culmination, to the country and the world. I simply cannot think of any comparable event and so am hugely looking forward to what promises to be a unique national moment.’
Leicester Cathedral’s King Richard III Appeal to have Royal Patron
His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester is to be Patron of Leicester Cathedral’s King Richard III Appeal in support of the Cathedral’s plans to reinter the medieval king in spring 2015.
The Appeal target is £2.5m and the Cathedral has already raised nearly £1 million. It is working with trusts and foundations, private individuals and businesses to reach its fundraising target. A group of leading citizens within Leicester and London are actively helping and supporting the Cathedral in this task.
The patronage is highly appropriate because, before he became king in 1483, Richard was himself Duke of Gloucester, a title that had been conferred upon him by his elder brother, King Edward IV.
David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said: ‘This is a huge boost not just for the Appeal but for the whole of Leicester. It demonstrates, beyond all doubt, that our cathedral and city are well equipped to undertake this responsibility on behalf of the entire nation. We are now very well advanced in our plans and look forward to reinterring Richard next year with dignity and with honour.’
Creating the space for King Richard begins
The building work to create a space for the tomb of King Richard III has begun this week.
Contractors Fairhurst Ward Abbots have long experience in conservation works, having worked on Buckingham Palace, Ely Cathedral, Leicester’s Magazine Gateway and most recently Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
They start by carefully screening off the entire area of works, before moving on to the major tasks. This will begin with the careful dismantling of existing wooden screens and removal of furnishings, and the taking up of existing stone floors, much of which will be relocated within the new arrangements. Later in the works the new grave space will be dug and lined. The main above-ground works for the tomb itself will be added in after this phase of work is completed.
Matt Webster of FWA said: ‘We are delighted to have the privilege of being part of the Richard III story. It is a great honour to be asked to create a resting place for a king, especially in Leicester’s delightful Cathedral.’
There will be opportunity for the public to view the works as they proceed by means of observation windows cut into the main screening – and Channel 4 will be installing a time-lapse camera to record the entire process from start to finish.
Visit www.kingrichardinleicester.com for more information.
Pictured: The Very Revd David Monteith with His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester in Leicester Cathedral looking at the model of the space being created for the tomb of King Richard III.