Richard III reburial ballot sees thousands apply for public seats

Image copyright van Heyningen and Haward
Image caption The king's bones will be placed in a tomb in the remodelled Leicester Cathedral during the service

Thousands of people have applied to an online ballot for a seat at the reburial of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral next year.

More than 13,500 people have applied online for entry to three services to mark the reinterment of the king.

There will be 200 seats for the public at the reburial, with a further 400 spaces at two other services.

The Dean of Leicester said there had been "lots of interest" with applications from around the world.

The ballot opened on 12 December and 5,000 people applied on the first day.

Hundreds more paper forms have been received by the cathedral and are yet to be counted.

Richard III portrait and skull Image copyright University of Leicester
Image caption Richard III's remains were found under a car park in Leicester in 2012

Applications closed at midday on Wednesday,

The cathedral said spaces would now be allocated at random, with half of those available being reserved for residents in Leicestershire and Rutland.

All those selected will receive an invitation from the Dean, the Very Reverend David Monteith, after 12 January.

"Clearly there's lots of interest in the English royal's story," he said.

"It is only three months away and we need to give people due notice, and of course some will be travelling from all over the world."

He said applications had come from the United States, Canada, Australia, Africa and Japan.

Those unsuccessful in the ballot will be able to watch the services on TV and on big screens placed around Leicester.

Reburial timetable

  • Sunday 22 March: Coffin leaves the University of Leicester, travels round local villages and is taken to Leicester Cathedral
  • Monday 23 - Wednesday 25 March: Remains of King Richard III will lie in repose in the cathedral
  • Monday 23 March: Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nicholls will celebrate Mass for the repose of the soul for Richard III in Holy Cross Church, the Catholic parish church and Dominican priory in Leicester city centre
  • Thursday 26 March: Richard III's remains will be buried in Leicester Cathedral in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, senior clergy, other Christian denominations and representatives of other faiths
  • Friday 27 March: Tomb is revealed, followed by official celebrations across the city

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