Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry event marks Lady Godiva's death 950 years ago

Event in Coventry Image copyright Charmaine Mulligan, Godiva Trust
Image caption Pru Porretta has appeared as Godiva thousands of times since 1982

Hundreds of people have attended an event to mark the death of Lady Godiva, Countess of Mercia, 950 years ago.

According to legend, Godiva rode naked on horseback through Coventry in protest against high taxes.

A civic procession made its way to the statue of Godiva on her horse, followed by Pru Porretta as Godiva, schools, community groups and residents.

Godiva, who died on 10 September 1067, was married to Leofric, the Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry.

Together they founded the Benedictine Priory and later the Cathedral of St Mary.

The procession earlier was followed by singing, dancing and drama in the Priory Gardens.

Image copyright Charmaine Mulligan, Godiva Trust
Image caption The Godiva Trust charity said about 300 people attended the event
Image copyright Charmaine Mulligan, Godiva Trust
Image caption Singing, dancing and drama were staged at the event

Ms Porretta, who has played Godiva at events since 1982, said: "What she did, whether she rode the horse or not, she spoke for those who didn't have a voice.

"Although she was the most wealthy woman in England when she died, she's a real person and she gave a voice to those who did not have one."

The work of the Godiva Trust charity has included organising education for children, leading seminars for peace and reconciliation and facilitating groups for women and faiths.

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