Richard III: King's tomb to be unveiled at Leicester Cathedral

Richard III tomb Image copyright van Heyningen and Haward
Image caption Richard III's tomb has been sealed with a two-tonne Swaledale fossil stone

The public will be able to view King Richard III's sealed tomb for the first time later when Leicester Cathedral is reopened.

The king's coffin was lowered into a vault below the cathedral floor during a reinterment service on Thursday.

A large piece of stone engraved with a deep cross lies on top of the tomb and 200 guests who won a ballot will be allowed to view it from 13:00 GMT.

The cathedral will open its doors to the public after the unveiling service.

The last Plantagenet king's remains were found beneath a Leicester car park in 2012.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Richard III's reburial service was held in Leicester Cathedral on Thursday

More than 20,000 people queued to see the coffin in the cathedral earlier this week and long queues are expected after the hour-long service.

Rev Pete Hobson, acting Canon Missioner of Leicester Cathedral, said: "We'll welcome as many people as we can - just keep moving people and you'll all get a look."

He added that the service would have a "lighter feel" than Thursday's ceremony, which was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"Thursday was a day for the nation, Friday is a day for Leicester and Leicestershire," he said.

Later in the evening 8,000 candles will be lit in the city's Jubilee Square and Cathedral Gardens before a firework display on the cathedral roof.

The two-tonne Swaledale fossil stone lies on a marble plinth, while the inlaid coat of arms is made of marble and semi-precious stones.

Image copyright van Heyningen and Haward
Image caption Large parts of the cathedral have been reordered to accommodate the tomb

The reburial has not been without controversy. Campaigners who petitioned for Richard III to be reburied in York have described the events in Leicester over the last week as a "pantomime".

Richard, the last English king to die in battle, was killed at Bosworth Field in 1485, at the end of the Wars of the Roses.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Richard III's remains were found under a car park in Leicester in 2012

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