British King Richard III Gets His Proper Burial — 530 Years Later

History seemed to have forgotten about where Richard III was buried. In a week, Richard III gets a proper burial.

Only 530 years later.

USA Today is reporting that Richard III, who was thought to have been killed in battled then buried in a shallow, unmarked grave, begins a week-long tour of the English countryside he once ruled to get a proper burial. Richard III’s death marked the end of the War of the Roses, a most tumultuous period in English history, where the royal houses of Lancaster and York fought the very bloody war for English supremacy.

Richard III was the last English monarch to have been killed on the field of battle.

The processional will follow Richard III’s last route, up to where he participated in the Battle of Bosworth, where he battled Henry Tudor and was subsequently killed. In Bosworth, over 2,000 persons dressed in period pieces paid respects to the long-dead king. Michael Ibsen, a cabinetmaker who relocated from Canada to London, paid his final respects as well. Ibsen played a vital role in this effort, as he has been identified as the 17th generation nephew of Richard III. Ibsen’s DNA helped to prove the remains that had been found were indeed those of Richard III.

The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that Richard III’s lead-lined coffin will begin its procession from the University of Leicester, where Richard III’s remains have been under study for the past two years. Then, the procession will head to Bosworth, the battlefield where Richard III was killed in 1485. From there, they will head to Leicester Cathedral, where King Richard III will get his proper burial.

The reinterment ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 26. More information can be found at the King Richard in Leicester website.

Many had thought Richard III’s remains had been lost to history. However, in 2012, archaeologists opened trenches in a parking lot in Leicester and found skeletal remains that were battle-scarred in Grey Friars monastery. A DNA test was needed, and the University of Leicester found Ibsen. DNA tests proved that the remains were indeed those of Richard III.

Along with the finding of the remains, and the plan to move them, is some controversy. Richard III is remembered as a murderous, power-hungry hunchbacked evildoer in William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. Some persons feel this depiction is inappropriate, and are working to restore the reputation of Richard III. Many feel getting Richard to his proper burial place is a good step, but more needs to be done.

[Image courtesy of USA Today]