It was perhaps rather apt that Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard III’s second cousin (16 times removed), read an original 14-line verse as the King’s remains were reburied today, 530 years after his death.
Killed violently at the Battle of Bosworth, the King’s remains were recently discovered, buried beneath a parking lot, and it was decided to give him the burial he deserved as a Royal monarch at Leicester Cathedral.
The Express reports that Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch is not only a distant relative of Richard III, he will soon be playing the part of that king in an upcoming television adaptation of his story.
The poem was written by Britain’s poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, and the reading by Benedict Cumberbatch can be seen in the video above. Titled merely Richard, organizers of the event say it is a “meditation on the impact of [Richard’s] finding and on the legacy of his story.”
The poem even contained the phrase “grant me the carving of my name” in acknowledgment of the fact that Richard III’s grave was unknown for many centuries and had no tombstone to mark his presence there.
Interestingly, Cumberbatch’s relationship to Richard III was revealed by Professor Kevin Schurer, the man who was instrumental in proving the identity of the King’s remains.
“Benedict is Richard III’s second cousin, 16 removed.
“He is linked in several ways, but in terms of number of generations, the shortest is via Richard’s mother, Cecily Neville’s grandmother Joan Beaufort.
“He also has more indirect links to both Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Jane Grey through other ancestors in his tree.”
Having such impressive evidence of the blue blood running through his veins, Benedict Cumberbatch looked suitably solemn as he read the poem.
— Telegraph Pictures (@TelegraphPics) March 26, 2015
Cumberbatch recently received an Oscar nomination for playing the part of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game and also received an Emmy for his role as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC/PBS hit series Sherlock.
Among many film roles, Cumberbatch’s first appearance was, appropriately, in the 2003 movie To Kill a King. He then played the part of William Pitt the Younger in the 2006 film Amazing Grace.
The Inquisitr reported yesterday that the ceremony is costing British taxpayers a staggering £2.5 million for the funeral of a man who was basically unpopular back in his day and was known as a “child killer” and “one of the evil detestable tyrants to walk this earth.” However, it does make a rather impressive performance by Benedict Cumberbatch himself.
Benedict Cumberbatch waves to crowds outside cathedral in Leicester at King Richard’s reburial. The actor read a poem pic.twitter.com/qLCid5qYYr
— Jo Black (@JoBlackNews) March 26, 2015
According to ITV News, the public will be able to visit Richard III’s tomb from Friday this week.
[Photo by WPA Pool / Getty Images]