Leicester Cathedral has launched a new website, www.kingrichardinleicester.com, outlining the story of King Richard lll and his 500 year place in Leicester’s history. The Bishop and Dean of Leicester state their passionate desire to see that the mortal remains of the King are treated with dignity and honour and are reburied as soon as possible, in the city where he has belonged since his death. The website is a resource for the facts about Richard lll and Leicester, and includes a short video, facts and fictions about the story and demonstrates the partnership within which we are working.
The website uses a video to emphasise the links between Leicester and Richard III, including an interview with Bishop Tim on the importance on why the remains should stay in the city. The launch of the website is timed to coincide with BBC One ‘Inside Out’ in the East and West Midlands on Monday 3 February, which includes a film on the latest news on King Richard III.
Also revealed for the first time is an outline of how the Cathedral plans to manage the reburial itself, providing all approvals are given. The emphasis will be on a Christian treatment of the remains of a Christian monarch, who had a burial 500 years ago and will now be laid to a more fitting and abiding rest. A process is outlined involving four stages to take place within the Cathedral. This will begin with the initial Reception of the remains, followed by a period of Repose and public paying of respect, then the Reburial itself in a below ground vault, to be completed by the Reveal of the full tomb, once put in place.
Bishop Tim Stevens said: “The story of the King in a car park, now so familiar around the world to many who had heard little of Richard III or of Leicester, has become part of the life of our city and part of the story of our nation. Now we look forward to welcoming people from around the world to become part of our shared story. This new website presents Richard’s story clearly once again and begins the next chapter – our task of laying the King to rest with dignity and honour.”
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Many people have a view on where King Richard lll should finally be laid to rest, and can speak about it with great passion. What Leicester Cathedral has done is to set out the plain facts with regard to King Richard’s connection to Leicester, his death, and his burial in the Greyfriars church. Whatever your views those facts are undisputed. We cannot rewrite history. The Cathedral has demonstrated very clearly why Leicester is the right location for the final resting place of the last Plantagenet King of England.”
Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council, says: “I welcome the launch of Leicester Cathedral’s website and video release which spells out the factual case for Richard III’s reinterment here in Leicester. I’m sure the judicial review in March will reach the right decision – we just have to wait for it.”
A spokesperson for the University of Leicester confirmed their commitment to the reinterment of King Richard III in Leicester, as stated right from the outset in the licence granted to them by the Ministry of Justice: “The University of Leicester discovered the mortal remains of the King through the expertise of its archaeological work and subsequent scientific investigation.
“We are of the opinion, and have put forward a convincing case, in line with the terms of the licence, that the King who was buried in Leicester over 500 years ago should remain in the city, and indeed in the very parish, in which he was buried.
“It is important to remember there would have been no discovery at all without a combination of factors that focussed on Leicester – Philippa Langley’s Looking for Richard initiative, the University’s plan for the dig and its expertise in the execution of the dig and identification of the remains, and the fact that Leicester City Council had granted permission for us to excavate their land. We continue to work in partnership with Leicester Cathedral and Leicester City Council for a reinterment of King Richard III with dignity and honour in Leicester.”
The website www.kingrichardinleicester.com links clearly with the partners involved in developing plans for Richard lll, ensuring his future, as well as his past, is marked clearly and with honour here in Leicester.