Fit for a king? Royal row rumbles on over where Richard III should be laid to rest

He was rescued from the council car park - and is now heading for a plain-looking tomb in Leicester Cathedral

He has spent the last few years interred beneath an unglamorous council car park, so Richard III would probably regard the plans for his reburial set out by Leicester Cathedral as something of an improvement.

But the quiet simplicity with which the church authorities intend to re-lay the monarch to rest have proved decidedly underwhelming to some of the monarch’s admirers.

The diocese has revealed plans to place the 15th-century Plantagenet king, whose body was recently discovered by archaeologists, under a ledger stone – no more than a simple slab – in the cathedral’s chancel. Proposals for a more ornate monument were, it said, “disproportionate”. York has also not given up on its claim for the rights to the royal bones. Richard’s lineage stretches back to the northern city, as many schoolchildren know.

The Richard III Society, which was closely involved in the project to find the grave, had also put forward its own design for a tomb. Its East Midlands Branch Secretary, Sally Henshaw, said she was “very disappointed” their idea for a large, limestone table-top design had been shunned.

“There has been a ledger stone dedicated to Richard III in Leicester cathedral since 1982, before his remains were discovered. To simply have another stone does not, I think, really reflect his status as an anointed king, the last of the Plantagenets and his warrior death,” she said. “I think people who will come from all over the world, who have been fascinated by the story, will be disappointed”.

In its defence, there is a case for Leicester’s minimalism. Rumours that Richard III interred his young nephews in the Tower of London, and then murdered them, persist more than 500 years later. Officials said the cathedral was a “modest” building which might be dominated by a large monument and they were keen to avoid anything which was a “pastiche”.

Canon Barry Naylor, acting dean of Leicester Cathedral, said: “We hope it will be a place of dignified simplicity which will give honour to Richard by the prominent location it has, close to the holiest place in the cathedral. “One of the things we have to do at the cathedral is to consider the whole life of the cathedral and [we need] a tomb which will fit into that and we think a ledger stone will be more appropriate rather than a big edifice.”

Richard III reigned for only 26 months, was praised for his cleverness and bravery, but castigated for being a hunchback with a limp and a withered arm,

He was killed at the battle of Bosworth by the forces of the man who would become Henry VII, and was hastily buried in the church of Greyfriars. His wife, Anne Neville, is buried in Westminster Abbey, but his burial next to her has been all but ruled out.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker