Richard III reinterment date announced

image copyrightvan Heyningen and Haward
image captionThe cathedral said it was balancing the fact Richard was a king with the need to see him as a human being

The remains of Richard III will be reinterred on 26 March 2015, officials at Leicester Cathedral have announced.

A week-long series of events will see the king's coffin travel from Bosworth, where he died in battle, to the city where he was first buried.

Richard's grave was lost to later development and then rediscovered under a Leicester council car park in 2012.

The patron of the £2.5m appeal to meet costs will be the Duke of Gloucester, the title Richard once held.

The remains were confirmed as those of the king, after a series of tests including DNA analysis, in February 2013.

A group of people claiming to be distant relatives of Richard were then granted a judicial review into the licence that gave Leicester the right to reinter his remains.

This was dismissed in May this year.

'State funeral'

Cathedral authorities said Richard's skeleton would be placed in a coffin at the University of Leicester on 22 March.

It will then be taken to Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was killed in 1485, before a procession through villages connected with his final campaign, to Leicester.

After arriving at the cathedral, Richard's remains will lie "in repose" for three days before being reinterred.

The Very Reverend David Monteith said details of the ceremony would be released later but revealed it would have "the character of a state funeral without being one".

He added: "While it seems to have been hasty, Richard had some sort of burial and it is inconceivable that some sort of prayers were not said at the time.

"Therefore, this will be a reinterment based on rites of reinterment contemporary with his day."

The cathedral is "in contact" with the royal household about who will attend the ceremony.

The sealed tomb, itself the source of controversy about the design, will be unveiled on 28 March.

Work on reordering the cathedral to make space for the tomb has already begun.

Dr Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society, said: "This will mean Richard will get the dignified ceremony he was denied in 1485.

"I feel the planned service will carry the weight you expect for an anointed monarch."

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