Farewell to a King

Not strictly a Suburban Militarism topic in this post, but it nevertheless relates at least to a battle.Today I got to pay my respects to King Richard III, whose remains passed through my local village on its way to interment at Leicester Cathedral. The king was the last British monarch to be killed in battle in 1485 (at Bosworth, which is about 10 miles from where I live). His hurriedly buried body was thought lost to history until finally discovered in a Leicester car park in 2012.

Today, his remains were transported in an oak coffin from the site of his death to Leicester cathedral. The burial cortege made its way from the battlefield through the county villages and so I got a chance to see the historic procession. White roses (the symbol of the House of York) were being strewn by people everywhere along the route and my 8 year-old daughter Eleanor waved a white rose flag we’d made especially for the purpose.

It is curious to see my familiar old home town as the site of such media interest. The same old streets and sites that I’ve seen for years were suddenly thronged with thousands of people as the body of an ancient king was brought back from history through the streets. It felt kind of important to have been there lining the route on this historic and strangely emotional day for my community.

Leicester Cathedral will be open to the public to view the coffin this week and I should possibly get the chance to pop by. The re-interment proper will take place on Thursday.

King Richard III's coffin passes us by...
King Richard III’s coffin passes us by…
Richard III Procession through Leicestershire.
Richard III Procession through Leicestershire.
Richard III Procession through Leicestershire.
Richard III Procession through Leicestershire.
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