Richard III reburial ballot opens for public seat applications

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

A ballot has opened for members of the public to apply for seats at the reburial ceremony for King Richard III.

Remains of the king, who was killed in battle in 1485, will be reinterred during a service at Leicester Cathedral on 26 March.

Two other services are to be held in connection with the ceremony with 200 public seats available at all three.

Spaces will be allocated at random after the ballot closes on 31 December.

The cathedral said international applications are being accepted for the ballot but half the available public spaces were being reserved for people who live in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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

The ballot is open online with paper copies also available at Leicester and Leicestershire libraries, the King Richard lll Visitors Centre and Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.

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

"There is great public interest in King Richard's reinterment," said the Very Revd Monteith.

"This unprecedented occasion requires unprecedented access of the public and we are endeavouring to ensure this as much as is practically possible."

He said those who are unsuccessful in the ballot would still be able to watch the services on television or on large screens in Leicester.

Reburial timetable

  • Sunday 22 March: Coffin leaves the University of Leicester, travels round local villages and is taken to Leicester Cathedral
  • Monday 23 to 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, to be followed by official celebrations across the city

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