Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

Photography. Leicester's statue of Richard III was so much easier to photograph before they moved it from the park! Among the trees and flowers down by the river the light was kind, and the scene changed all the time. It's appropriate where it now is, but its surroundings are harsh, and it could hardly have been better placed for bad light if someone … Continue reading Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

As became his birth

At the end of Shakespeare's Richard III, the Earl of Richmond, now effectively king Henry VII, makes a short speech from the battlefield. Looking around at the dead, he says: “Inter their bodies as becomes their births.” Now, after 530 years, that has been done for his royal opponent at Bosworth. The whole thing was … Continue reading As became his birth

Reburying Richard

  The Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board has published a provisional timetable for the reburial of Richard III’s remains in March next year. Here is what it adds up to. We really haven’t seen anything like this before! Sunday March 22 2015 [1] 12.00 Hearse departs from University of Leicester, to [2] Fenn Lane Farm … Continue reading Reburying Richard

What makes the new Richard III Visitor Centre “insulting”?

You might notice a bit of a theme going on here. First Stonehenge opens a visitor centre that is roundly trashed by the press (and subsequently praised by their travel journalists). Then the British Museum’s new extension and Vikings exhibition is labelled boring – and attracts huge numbers of visitors. Now we have a third archaeological … Continue reading What makes the new Richard III Visitor Centre “insulting”?

Leicester celebrates its king

So Skeleton 1 will be buried back in Leicester next spring. It will be some two and half years since it was dug up, and two since it was identified as the remains of an English king. The exhumation licence proposed in effect that reburial would occur by October 3 2012 (“within 4 weeks”). Extensions … Continue reading Leicester celebrates its king

Is the car park skeleton Richard III? Of course not. It’s a skeleton

As I said to the editor Rob Attar, hat’s off to BBC History magazine for its lead news story, “Was the skeleton in the car park really Richard III?” Plenty of people could be accused of exploiting the identification, from the publishers of a seemingly endless supply of Richard III-related books (see selective list at … Continue reading Is the car park skeleton Richard III? Of course not. It’s a skeleton

Richard III in court

I was going to start with the king’s eyebrows, but Max Clifford’s penis has to come first. While I watched the dissection of the Plantagenet Alliance’s claims in the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Friday morning, across the river, at Southwark Crown Court, the high-profile publicist heard his anatomy being discussed. A witness … Continue reading Richard III in court

Does handling of Richard III’s bones raise serious questions?

Some think so. Are they right? We’ll need a clear head for this, as some of the allegations imply professional wrongdoing, and the issues reach beyond a dead monarch. The Independent (a national UK paper, on March 4) and the Yorkshire Post (a regional paper, on March 8) recently published the same letter from five … Continue reading Does handling of Richard III’s bones raise serious questions?

Reburials, art and DNA: another month for Richard III

What’s happened in the world of Richard III since my last post? A great deal, though that post was only a few weeks ago. I’ll round up just a few things that struck me as particularly interesting or curious. Let’s start with a curious note, and the most recent: the BBC has just reported that … Continue reading Reburials, art and DNA: another month for Richard III

A year in the death of Richard III

Exactly a year ago, as I write, I was getting lost in Leicester. I never did get to the bottom of it, but my satnav struggled with the city’s layout, and drew me into a suburban housing estate when I was hoping to find the university. I didn’t know it then, but I would return … Continue reading A year in the death of Richard III