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The University of Leicester is planning to change its name to capitalise on its discovery of the bones of Richard III.
The proposal will be debated by the university’s senate next month. It is expected to agree to the institution formally being rechristened as King Richard University from September 2016.
Officials behind the plans also hope to rename some of the university buildings in tribute to the dead monarch to exploit the huge international interest in the discovery and attract lucrative overseas students.
In pictures: The remains of King Richard III
In pictures: The remains of King Richard III
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The Plantagenet Alliance wants the remains to be buried at York Minster, claiming that was the wish 'of the last medieval king of England'
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A picture shows a scale model showing the design for the tomb that will house the remains of medieval English king Richard III as it is unveiled at a press conference at Leicester Cathedral in Leicester, central England on June 16, 2014. British judges on on May 23 finally ended a bitter debate over the burial of king Richard III, ruling that his remains should be laid to rest at Leicester Caathedral the city where they were found under a car park.
AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
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Richard III Society member Philippa Langley and society Chairman Dr Phil Stone stand besides a facial reconstruction of King Richard III in London. After carrying out a series scientific investigations on remains found in a car park in Leicester, the University of Leicester announced that they were those of King Richard III
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The first major production of the play since the discovery of the king’s remains will use the new archaeological evidence on the stage
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A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed on 5 February 2013 at a news conference in central London. The reconstruction is based on a CT scan of human remains found in a council car park in Leicester which are believed to belong to the last of the Plantagenet monarchs of Britain who was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485
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Students at the University of Leicester were involved in the excavation of Richard III’s remains. On 4 February 2013, scientific tests confirmed that the battle-scarred skeleton with spinal curvature dug up from underneath a council car park was that of the last English king to die in battle. He had been buried five centuries ago but all physical trace had long since been lost
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Remains found in trench one of the Grey Friars dig
University of Leicester/Rex Features
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The remains of King Richard III were found in a hastily dug, untidy grave, researchers have revealed
University of Leicester
Academics from the university discovered the skeleton beneath a car park in the city in 2012. He was reburied in Leicester Cathedral last week.
As part of draft proposals seen by The Independent, the main campus bar would be renamed “Carnage@Bosworth”. The university’s principal administrative centre, the Fielding Johnson Building, would be renamed Hunchback House.
A university source revealed: “Our research shows that up to 10 per cent of people in some countries aren’t aware that it was the University of Leicester which found the skeleton of Richard III. Changing the name of the university is the natural next step.”
The students’ union has also been approached about co-operating in the new publicity drive, and has proposed staging a monthly club night called “Flogging A Dead Horse”, in honour of Richard III’s “My kingdom for a horse!” speech in Shakespeare’s play.
It is understood that university officials considered a number of alternative names for the institution, before settling on King Richard University. These included “Plantagenet Midlands”; “The University of Leicester, We Found Richard III”; and “The PR University”, after “Plantagenet Richard”.
More radical plans to divide the university campus into theme park-style “zones”, each inspired by a royal house from the Middle Ages, were rejected at an early stage.
“Retaining the dignity of the university is our priority,” said the source. “We wouldn’t want to be seen to be milking this.”
Another proposal to award honorific royal titles to department heads – allowing, for instance, the current director of the architecture school to style herself as “Dr April Showers, Princess of the Built Environment” – may be considered by the senate if it approves the renaming.
There is a local precedent for educational centres to be named after prominent historical figures. The city’s De Montfort University took its name from Simon de Montfort, a prominent 13th-century Earl of Leicester.
If Leicester’s experiment proves successful, the University of Cambridge is said to be considering rechristening Professor Stephen Hawking’s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology as “The Redmayne Space Institute” after the success of last year’s biopic.
The University of Leicester declined to provide an official statement last night.Reuse content