The topic already had gone round in my head, but I had avoided to bring it up so far, as I did not want to thematise another battlefield around King Richard III.
But now, a new petition was brought to my attention, which was started by Victoria Mather to collect support to honour King Richard III:
Richard III Funeral Procession Plans
(Petition can be signed by British citizens only!)
King Richard III’s remains are planned to be sent on a ‘burial procession’ from Bosworth Field to Grey Friars and then his later resting place across the street, at Leicester Cathedral.
The first time King Richard III had been on this route certainly can’t be called a march of triumph, but rather was a tour to show his defeat, shame and to humiliate him.
Now one could say, give it a second try and make it a way of triumph now, but a burial procession is hardly an event to be perceived as especially triumphant.
So it takes no overly active imagination to see the repeat performance of this route of utter degradation of a former King of England as a commemoration of Tudor victory rather than as honouring the newly found King Richard III.
Please take action as you see fit.
Thank you !
Richard III Funeral Procession Plans
(Petition can be signed by British citizens only!)
You now can vote in a poll about the new tomb design for King Richard III’s grave in Leicester Cathedral, if you like the newly revealed design or not:
- Leicester Mercury: Richard III: Final tomb design revealed, by Peter Warzynski (18.06.2014)
(The poll is in the right side bar of the page next to the article.)
For that the poll is posted by a Leicester based newspaper, the Leicester Mercury, the result so far is astonishingly clear.
The team involved in the design of King Richard III’s tomb described the design using the highest praise.
(I must admit, I was wondering a bit, what they would have said when the stone tomb really would have a ‘design’. But perhaps then the design would speak for itself and would not need so many words to explain its not so obvious meaning.)
But I don’t want to withold the explanation of the carved cross design of the tomb from you, which was revealed at the press conference on Monday, 16.06.2014.
- University of Leicester (YouTube): Richard III – The Tomb Design Press Conference by UniversityLeicester (June 17, 2014) – Video of the press conference, where the planned tomb design for King Richard III’s burial in Spring 2014 was revealed:
Trying to imagine the ‘light’-design of the tomb from a practical viewpoint, the question remains with me, when the sun in the East would stand high enough to take effect on the carved tomb and reveal the intended light reflection representing resurrection. But perhaps King Richard III is not meant to …
The Cathedral of Leicester announced the new tomb design for King Richard III today and revealed the approximate time of his burial:
To be honest, I am a bit ‘underwhelmed’ by the new design, because in my opinion now even the previously good parts of the tomb design are gone.
To compare, the Leicester Mercury has the picture of the first draft of the design in this article:
Richard III: New tomb design revealed today, by Peter Warzynski (16.06.2014)
What strange design competition is that to remove all elements people so far liked about the design and leave only the parts people did in major parts not like?
It is a strange method of the Cathedral of Leicester and a really difficult to understand way to estrange even the remaining supporters for Leicester Cathedral.
Perhaps the black stone beneath the tomb is meant to significantly differentiate the tomb design from a white chocolate brick.
But why the circle beneath the tomb, which in my observation had been majorly supported and liked in comments about the first revealed tomb design, now is eliminated as well, is a mystery to me. Except, that it is much easier to lay this rectangular stone floor design and not having to integrate a circle into its midst. Cheaper now, when already such additional expenses have been spent on a new tomb design.
I would not criticise the Cathedral so much for this design, if there had not been a previous tomb design, with well based references to the King’s life and even more convincing, with local materials King Richard III would have known and intended to be done by rare and talented hand-craft artists. In addition, even the payment had been secured for this very first design the Cathedral declined, because they initially had only wanted a stone slab in the floor.
So the necessity to accrue further expenses for this indistinct non-entity of a design for the tomb really is beyond my understanding.
In a way, Leicester Cathedral really must be angry about getting King Richard III or at least with the Richard III Society, whose members had commissioned and intended to finance the very first design.
Or how should that new tomb design be interpreted?
At least, the designer must somehow be angry with the king or does not want to put too much attention to him and his life, to only show minimalistic references.
One reason why I just so strongly don’t like this tomb design is, because I had visited stone pits, where the prepared stones look the way the tomb does.
Raw material prepared for the breaking…
Now, you can surely see an analogy that King Richard III had been broken in the Battle of Bosworth and his broken body had been transferred to Leicester.
But to see him as raw material is a strange interpretation of his life. And to break him with a holy cross is a picture the designer really has to explain to me to make me believe in its religious relevance or sensibility.
To excuse this poor design as 21st century based, I would argue that even the 21st century can do better…
Please feel free to discuss your opinion about the tomb design here. All opinions are welcome!
The one above is just my interpretation of the design, which unfortunately is not a favourable one, though I had tried hard to remain open-minded for the problems of the Cathedral of Leicester.
Shakespearean truth is theatrical truth, so is crunched, condensed and bended to fit the stage.
The same seems to apply for the spine of King Richard III…
New research confirms the side bending scoliosis and the higher right shoulder, though in combination with the found spiral helix form, King Richard III might have appeared normal to observers and rather un-handicapped in his movements.
This rather limits the potential timeframe of the ‘revealing’ of his ‘deformity’ down to his naked exposure in Leicester after his death. And, via the told and re-told versions of a century, enhanced and sensationalised, the stage version of Shakespeare’s King Richard III comes out.
Published report about the scientific reconstruction of King Richard III’s spine:
Research done by the University of Leicester in co-operation with the University of Cambridge, Loughborough University and the University Hospitals of Leicester.
(Copyright of the included material: University of Leicester)
- The Lancet: The scoliosis of Richard III, last Plantagenet King of England: diagnosis and clinical significance,
Interactive model of the spine here:
(Copyright: University of Leicester)
Explanations and interview with Professor Bruno Morgan and Dr Piers Mitchell about their spine reconstruction here via SoundCloud:
Further background articles on the topic:
- Antiquity: ‘The king in the car park’: new light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485, by Richard Buckley, Mathew Morris, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Deirdre O’Sullivan and Lin Foxhall (Antiquity, Volume: 87, Number: 336, Page: 519–538)
- Timees Literary Supplement (TLS): Richard Crookback, by Sarah Knight and Mary Ann Lund (06.02.2013)
- Scoliosis Research Society: Idiopathic Scoliosis
We will try to cover the topic in the article news-stream of KRA as usual.
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With King Richard III, the good and the bad always are so close together.
For Leicester to win the court battle while losing money, much more money than the initial dig for King Richard III had cost, certainly is a truth fully in the tradition of King Richard III’s reign.
- Leicester Mercury: Richard III: High Court battle leaves winners with £250,000 costs, by Peter Warzynski (29.05.2014)
Videos by the University of Leicester about the revelation of the results from the High Court (23.05.2014):
- University of Leicester (YouTube): Richard III – The Judicial Review Decision, UniversityLeicester YouTube Channel (26.05.2014)
- University of Leicester (YouTube): Richard III – The Judicial Review Decision – Press Conference, UniversityLeicester YouTube Channel (25.05.2014)
The results of the High Court hearing in London are in!
The burial license granted to the UoL will not be revoked, allowing now that the started burial procedures in Leicester can continue and a timely burial in Leicester Cathedral can be expected.
High Court judgment: Plantagenet Alliance v Leicester City Council and others. (RIchard III burial) http://t.co/ZhDpD5eQRT
— Judicial Office (@JudiciaryUK) May 23, 2014
First of all, congratulations to Mark Selby, the ‘Jester from Leicester’.
I know, he has nothing to do with King Richard III’s court, though a good jester surely could have been of value there. But I am quite sure King Richard III might have enjoyed the dramatic finale in the Snooker World Championship as well. When two of my favourite Snooker players are in the final competition, unfortunately only one of them can win. Great match, great players, worthy finale!
Now to another delicacy for all readers from and visiting London…
♛ Richard III in London ♛
is an ambitious theatre company from London, founded in 2010.
Their newest production, Shakespeare’s Richard III, by director Rae McKen uses authentic historical costume, designed by Fraz Roughton.
The pictures from the production already shared on Facebook give an interesting glimps of the time and how King Richard III and his comtemporaries might have looked like.
Facebook Foto-Album (Also visible without Facebook account.)
Till 18th of May 2014: in The Cockpit, London
From Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd of June 2014: in the Greenwich Theatre, London
Custom Practice (on Facebook)
Custom Practice (Richard III – website)
TheOneRing.net – Interview by Greendragon
Interviewed by GreenDragon for TheOneRing.net (14.04.2014) about his role as Thorin Oakenshield in Sir Peter Jacksons record breaking production “The Hobbit”, Richard Armitage mentions King Richard III again.
As glad as I am that even for Tolkien fans King Richard III is worth a question, I must admit, I wonder if the late battles around King Richard III brought this change and caused this very distancing statement about Mr. Armitage’s interest in telling the (hi)story of King Richard III.
GreenDragon: One last thing I’m interested to ask you about – I keep reading about your fascination with Richard III, and that you have interest in making a film about him. I just wondered what truth there is in any of that?
It was an idea that I had a while back. But my interest in it is really a hobby, of reading biographies, and I was once working with a script writer on something. I don’t know whether a documentary would be of interest… it’s difficult, finding something which is going to be commercially interesting, and for an audience – I don’t know how many people would be that excited about him… My interest in him doesn’t necessarily have to manifest itself in a piece of work. Even if it’s me going back on stage and playing him; it’s purely a hobby for me.
GreenDragon: It’s a fascinating topic – particularly when you consider how Shakespeare has painted him into one particular corner…
Yeah, I mean Shakespeare really created a bit of a pantomime and put him at the centre of it. It’s a brilliant thriller, but I don’t know how biased Shakespeare was… Well, I do know how biased he was, because he was writing for a Tudor monarch! But I think there’s a tale to tell. I think the BBC maybe are investigating doing a project about Richard, but we’ll see. I think there’s always room for a new take on it; and there’s plenty of literature out there. The Daughter of Time [Josephine Tey] is such an interesting book, and that would be worth exploring.
Richard Armitage is currently filming in Leeds, U.K., and was interviewed by Geeta Pendse from BBC East Midlands Today (02.04.2014), where he once again mentioned his connection to and interest in King Richard III.
The video of the interview is available on Facebook (no Facebook account necessary to watch the interview).
Perhaps, I should not introduce the interview so neutrally here.
After all, Mr. Armitage is announced in the comment to the video on Facebook as:
“Gorgeous Hollywood hearthrob“.
The transcript of the interview part about King Richard III follows here:
BBC East Midlands Today – Interview with actor Richard Armitage by Geeta Pendse
Geeta Pendse: Obviously, your name is Richard, and there is someone very famous that is called Richard, … who was recently discovered in Leicester.
Richard Madeley, I know, that is amazing, isn’t it?
[British readers perhaps will be able to verify the name of the celebrity, Mr. Armitage mentions here in his comment. I just guessed and googled...]
Geeta Pendse: Also Richard III. Are you named after Richard III?
I was born on the 22nd of August and that was when he died on the battlefield at Bosworth. That is one of those history questions that I always got right. But my dad was really into Richard III, so he chose that name. I think if I hadn’t been born on the 22nd of August, I might have been called Russell.
Geeta Pendse: Do you know, I am born on the 22nd of August and I am not called Richard.
And you are not called Richard.
Geeta Pendse: What happened? Maybe it was this whole girl thing.
I don’t know. We could think of another name for you. – Elizabeth.
Geeta Pendse: Yeah. And were you aware of this whole story unraveling in Leicester?
I was in New Zealand at the time, so I was receiving the news sort of sporadically. But yeah. I am kind of fascinated and thrilled that they found him and have laid him to rest or whether that’s still up in the air as to where he is going to be laid to rest. But yeah. I still haven’t had chance to visit the site yet, but I will.
Geeta Pendse: And do you ever visit Leicester?
I do, especially, I am working in the U.K. at the moment, I am working up in Leeds. I have visited Leicester quite a few times, but mainly to the country side. I haven’t been into the city center for a while.
Geeta Pendse: So, if I could bring you one thing from Leicestershire […]
Pork pie and a piece of Stilton.
Geeta Pendse: You are on. We will do that.
I must admit, a man who loves cheese has won my sympathies forever. I am currently on a discovery tour to all the varieties of English cheese, so the end of the following interview was an especial highlight for me.
But now follows my first embedding of a Facebook post. So I hope it works…
In my whole observations about the research concerning King Richard III, I always wonder, why everybody thinks to be able to judge him on some prejudice, rumour, envy or other motive and readily dismisses valid research done on a broad basis evaluating the available material.
A historian is bound to build as complete a basis for a research as possible and only after reviewing all (!) available sources, is allowed to come to a conclusion and has to argument from all possible angles the validity of the own conclusions.
So you will find me shaking my head in utter astonishment concerning the current discussion about King Richard III, which gets high press coverage in renowned newspapers and magazines.
I also find it hard to decide how best to present this new discussion to you, as in the major part it is so nonsensical, that I wonder why it gets so much and famous attention at all.
First I want to state that I am in no way connected to or bound to defend the University of Leicester and one certainly can argue if all researches done by them were necessary or interfered with the dignity of the person of King Richard III, but this current discussion certainly shows they were exceedingly necessary.
The argument now raised against the University of Leicester and their result to confirm the identity of the found skeleton as being of King Richard III, is that the skeleton could easily be of some other soldier buried there, just conveniently being of the direct female line leading to King Richard III’s mother.
How many unaccounted for relatives, having the exact female blood line of King Richard III, do you think are lying around somewhere? Or better are lying around at the exact spot King Richard III should be? And in addition have died in the Battle of Bosworth or by incident around that time near Leicester, so that they are buried in the Grey Friars’ Abbey? While just in the late court battle, one of the main arguments against a burial in Leicester is, that King Richard III’s family just had no connections to Leicester? So how can forgotten relatives turn up there? And were the ‘grey friars’, while so discriminating in burying people in the choir of their church, suddenly burying soldiers from the battlefield, carting them all the way from the Bosworth battlefield? Why then were only so few skeletons found and not hundreds and only one with battle marks? Oh, and what a strange method to bury them without clothes and with bound hands? Really, the ‘grey friars’ must have had no piety at all…
I could go on much longer, as a result of the conclusive multitude of researches done by the University of Leicester and though some think it may now be enough research done on the skeleton of King Richard III, still the results in their entirety (not necessarily one taken on its own) give us a very complete and convincing affirmation of the skeleton’s identity as being King Richard III.
Especially helpful in that regard to see the full picture of research results and why they were done, is the excessive pre-research done by Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, who with great determination researched the potential last burial place of King Richard III from all historical angles and laid down his progress of research as well as the conclusions he came to in his work “The Last Days of Richard III”, which we have recommended here repeatedly, as it is the go-to research which was essential in finding King Richard III.
You see, I think the counter-argument just is so far-fetched as envy possibly can make it. Perhaps, it is due to scholars feeling left out from the euphoria and joy over the find in Leicester and now try to jump on the media attention created by the extraordinary research results in Leicester.
I just don’t get it, why the media jumps on this envy train so readily and let itself be used in such a way.
The news stream includes the articles of this new conflict in the sidebar and in the 2014-archive (entries dated around the end of March 2014).
But it provides heated arguments and is one more battle area in the new “Wars of the Roses” or rather a new skirmish.
(I am quite certain the list of battles around King Richard III will have to be continued …)
But now to something creative and constructive about King Richard III:
♛ King Richard III ♛
Matt Lewis – New Podcast series about King Richard III (iTunes)
- The Richard III Podcast – A Perfect Coup (04.03.2014)
- The Richard III Podcast – Introduction (09.03.2014)
- The Richard III Podcast – Episode 2 – The Cat Who Got the Cream (18.03.2014)
Also available via the YouTube channel of Matt Lewis.