WHAT: Fireworks For King Richard III
WHEN: Friday 27th March 2015
WHERE: Leicester City Centre
WHY: King Richard III Re-Interment
Back in August 2012, you could not have failed to learn of the discovery of the remains of King Richard III under a car park in Leicester. Not the most appropriate burial-place for a King I am sure you will agree.
King Richard was killed fighting Henry Tudor on 22nd August 1485 at the bloody battle of Bosworth Field, the final War of the Roses. He was subsequently buried in a crude grave in the grounds of Greyfriars Friary with no pomp or circumstance.
Move forward over 500 years to August 2012 when project ‘looking for Richard’ got under way. On day 1 of the dig, a male skeleton was uncovered bearing the same physical attributes as King Richard. DNA and carbon dating established that they were indeed the remains they sought.
Naturally, the discovery still laid out unanswered questions and the fact is that the mitochondrial DNA simply proves that the remains belong to someone in the line but not necessarily to the King. But, this was over-ruled as all the documentary evidence and the physical structure of the bones showed the spinal curvature which was one of the main attributes of Richard and the High Courts were satisfied that there was enough evidence to support the finding to be that of the King and then the next question was: where to re-inter the remains.
The High Court then had to sort out the argument between the Richard III society and heirs of the Plantagenet lineage who said that the remains should go back to York in accordance with his title. But, they ruled that he had rested there for over 500 years and should be allowed to stay at the heart of the Cathedral.
The re-interment service will form part of a number of events over the 4-day period including lots of free events over the weekend of 26th – 29th March 2015.
The Royal Family will be represented by Sophie, Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Indeed, Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester is Patron of the Richard III Society, the organization responsible for raising the funds to actually dig the site where the remains were discovered.
A Service of Compline will be held on Sunday March 22nd to mark the arrival of the royal remains and the funeral cortege will travel from Bosworth Field where the King fell to the Cathedral where his remains will stay in repose until the 26th March, allowing visitors to attend the Cathedral. Finally, the members of the Richard III Society will say their own farewell before the burial takes place.
There will be giant screens in Leicester City centre for the public to watch the service and on Friday 27th March, the Leicester Glows event will see 8000 fire-pots lit around Jubilee Square and the Cathedral Gardens areas. Indeed visitors will be allowed to light a flame in honour of King Richard III before FIREWORKS are launched from the Cathedral roof !!!
The foreground of the Cathedral and its façade will be illuminated with laser’s throughout this historically significant event.