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  1. Coverage of Richard III's reinterment at Leicester Cathedral
  2. Updates from Thursday 26 March 2015

Live Reporting

By Greig Watson

All times stated are UK

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Greig Watson

BBC News

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Next time anyone finds a medieval king under their car park, you know where to come...

Time to say goodbye

Mathew Morris, the archaeologist who found Richard's skeleton said: "It's been a fantastic day. It is an odd moment to see the coffin lowered because that is it really.


"But after so much has happened it felt fitting and it felt right."

He ain't heavy

King Richard III in Leicester

tweets: The Bearer Party did an amazing job. Must have been nerve-wracking #richardreburied

Bearer party

What did the king sound like?

We might have a good idea what Richard III looked like - albeit through the eyes of artists - but what did he sound like?

Dr Philip Shaw
University of Leicester

Leicester academic Dr Philip Shaw had a

stab at recording what he believes the king's accent was - revealing it may have had a West Midlands twang.

Tomb revealed

The cathedral is now closed to the public while work goes on to move his tomb into position.

Richard III tomb
van Heyningen and Haward

On Friday at 12:00, a Service of Reveal will unveil the monument to the public.

Then from 18:00 - 22:00, Leicester Glows, a free celebration, will be held around the cathedral, ending with fireworks.

Question mark king

It's all nearly over, but you've probably heard a lot about Richard III in the past few days/weeks/years.

Getty Images

How much has sunk in? Test your knowledge with this


Job done?

Philippa Langley, who begun the project which led to Richard III's skeleton being found, said she was satisfied.

Philippa Langley and Richard III
Getty Images

"Starting this, I wanted to give Richard the dignity he was robbed of originally and now I think 'Job done'.

"I think I have helped to make peace with part of our past."


Much was made on Twitter of the moment historian John Ashdown-Hill was caught rolling his eyes during Channel 4's coverage of the ceremony.

john Ashdown-Hill

When asked about this afterwards by journalist

Krishnan Guru-Murthy he admitted to having some "objections".

He said: "I thought this was going to be a peaceful event but we seem to be dealing with some lies from Leicester."

Though he struggled with specifics, he did say he thought the order of service had got Richard's birth date wrong.

Post-ceremony analysis

The University of Leicester

tweets: 'I thought the service was really good' says @uniofleicester's Mathew Morris who found #RichardIII's leg bone

Poetry Plantagenet

Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, said being asked to write for the reinterment was "a privilege".

Carol-Anne Duffy

She described it as a "meditation on the impact of his finding and on the legacy of his story."

Reburied the rite way

With death in battle and dynastic one-upmanship, reburial was common in the 15th Century.

Richard's ceremony was influenced by a description of just such an event,

found by Oxford academic Alexandra Buckle.

Cathedral officials said: "The shape of the services of the entire week would be recognisable to those who attended the ceremonies Richard III organised and frequented."

Benedict departs

BBC Leicester

tweets: Guests have departed the cathedral. #RichardReburied

Benedict Cumberbatch

Procession leaving

BBC Leicester

tweets: The Clergy and guests are now departing @LeicsCathedral #richardreburied

Leicester clergy

Ending of the service

A procession, known as a Recession, has formed to lead the clergy, royal guests and civic dignitaries from the building.

Meanwhile, outside...

A measured tone inside the cathedral, but there's some full-on medieval-style enthusiasm going on in the square.

Crowds outside

National Anthem

After a blessing from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the National Anthem is being sung.

Benedict Cumberbatch

The actor has read a specially-commissioned poem by Carol Ann Duffy, called Richard.

It included the lines: "My skull, scarred by a crown emptied of history

"Described by soul as incense, votive, vanishing, your own the same, grant me the carving of my name."

Benedict Cumberbatch

The Responsory

The Reverend Monsignor Thomas McGovern, Diocesan Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham, has led The Responsory.

This is a call and response prayer asking for mercy on the soul of the departed and all of those who died in the Wars of the Roses.

Coffin is lowered into the grave

The six-strong bearer party has lowered the coffin into the grave.

The Archbishop of Canterbury says further prayers.

View from the Square

This photo by BBC East Midlands Today reporter Tom Brown shows the crowd gathered in Leicester's Jubilee Square, watching the service on the big screen.

Jubilee Square

Move to the grave

The Bearer Party has moved the coffin to the grave, accompanied by the Countess of Wessex and The Duke of Gloucester.

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, is blessing the coffin with water from the font as a reminder of baptism. He will then burn incense around it, signifying prayer and sacrifice.

Ghostly Grace

The Anthem - entitled Ghostly Grace - is now being sung by the choir.

It was written by composer Judith Bingham.

The words are taken from the Book of Ghostly Graces by 13th Century mystic St Mechtild of Hackeborn

Ms Bingham said she wanted to be involved from the moment she heard the search for Richard would happen: "I wrote to Chris Johns who is director of music at the cathedral and said 'Look, I know you will think I am completely crazy and I know it is probably not even Richard III there but if it was please can I write something'."

Cumberbatch in focus

Here's an ever-so-slightly clearer photo of Benedict arriving for the service earlier.

Alongside him is Canon Michael Harrison.

Benedict Cumberbatch


Ahead of the reinterment itself, Tim Stevens, the bishop of Leicester, is delivering the Sermon.

He said: "This has broken open not just a car park but the nation's story".

Choir sings


tweets: The Choir sings Psalm 138 #richardreburied

Birth, life and death

Soils from Fotheringhay, where Richard was born, Middleham, where he spent much of his childhood and Bosworth, have been gathered in a specially designed box.

university of Leicester

These will be sprinkled onto the coffin with the words: "From the earth you formed me, with flesh you clothed me.

"Lord, my Redeemer, raise me up again at the last day."

Book of Hours

The present Duke of Gloucester, who shares his title with Richard III has placed a book of prayers, owned by Richard, in front of the coffin.

The Book of Hours, which has notes in Richard's handwriting, is on loan from

Lambeth Palace.

Coffin moved

The coffin has followed the Cathedral procession from a position next to the font.

It was being taken to the nave area to stand while the Dean delivers The Greeting.

Service begins

The Bearer Party, comprising two senior Non-Commissioned Officers from each of 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, have shouldered the coffin.

Professor Gordon Campbell, Public Orator of the University of Leicester, is reading The Eulogy, a reflection on the life and achievements of Richard III.

He says: "We are not here to comment on whether he was a good king."

The service

You can see the order of service

here on the Leicester Mercury's website, along with lots more information about today's events.

Sophie arrives

The Dean and Bishop of Leicester, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, have welcomed HRH The Countess of Wessex and HRH The Duchess of Gloucester to the cathedral.

Sophie Wessex

Queen's message

The University of Leicester

tweets: The Queen offers her thanks to @uniofleicester … #RichardIII #richardreburied

Uof leicester

Archbishop arrives

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has joined the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens, at the cathedral.

They await the arrival of lead HRH The Countess of Wessex and HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

Sombre weather

It didn't really brighten up, did it? Never mind - there are still hundreds of people gathered in Jubilee Square to watch the service on the big screen.

Jubilee Square

Order of service

The BBC's Victoria Hicks

tweets: Order of Service #richardreburied

order of service

More famous faces

As well as Benedict Cumberbatch, at least two other actors are attending the ceremony.

Robert Lindsey
Getty Images

Robert Lindsay, who played Richard for the RSC in 1998, and Robert Hardy - who's also an expert on medieval warfare - are in the congregation.

Grave concern?

Richard is getting a high-profile reburial and an elaborate tomb - but not all excavated bones are as lucky.

Mary Rose skull
Getty Images

What happens to other important human remains? Should they be reburied? And should Richard stay above ground? Read about it


VIPs set off

Leading members of the team which found and excavated Richard, including Philippa Langley and Richard Buckley, are moving to the cathedral.


Led by army and navy cadets, they are taking the short walk from the medieval Guildhall.

Last word on York?

Spoof account Richard III

tweets: For the LAST time. I don't want to be buried in York, It floods, I'm too old for any more COLD water baths, and there's rubbish curry houses

Cumberbatch in the house

We've caught our first glimpse of Benedict. Squint and you can just make him out.

He is to read a specially commissioned poem called "Richard" as part of the service.


The researchers who found Richard III's closest living relatives also identified Cumberbatch as Richard's third cousin, 16 times removed.