RIII 'Should Lie In State' in York


THE RICHARD III Foundation, Inc., an international educational organization dedicated to studying the life and times of England's last Plantagenet king, has welcomed the decision by the cathedral authorities in Leicester to bury the recently-discovered remains of King Richard in a specially-designed raised tomb.

But the Foundation has warned against what it sees as 'unseemly haste' and 'lack of respect' in the arrangements for the monarch's reinterment, and has called for Richard to be given a formal State Funeral, as befits an English king.

The Foundation is also asking for Richard's body to be transported to York, the city which Richard loved most, for a lying-in-state prior to burial, so that the people of Yorkshire can pay homage to the king whose memory they still revere more than five centuries after his death.

JoeAnn Ricca, founder-director of The Richard III Foundation, Inc., said: "We Ricardians are extremely concerned that the arrangements for the re-interment of our King are being made in something of a rush, and that we may see the remains of Richard Plantagenet being laid to rest in unseemly haste simply in order to provide Leicester with a tourist attraction.

“This should not be about tourism or economics or politics. It should be about 'doing the right thing'. We are therefore calling for King Richard to be given full ceremonial honours in a national State Funeral, and this will require considerable planning. It is not something to be done in a rush."

Andy Smith, the Foundation's UK director, added: "The re-internment of our King after more than 500 years should be seen as an opportunity to honour his immortal memory. We should be showing the utmost respect for this brave medieval warrior king - a king who, let us not forget, died heroically in battle.  Richard deserves more respect than he has been shown in Leicester so far.

"The authorities there were in a hurry to claim the King's remains for themselves, and since the Government decided a few months ago that the body should be given a permanent home in Leicester, there seems to have been a great reluctance to give Richard anything more than a slab in the cathedral floor to mark his resting place.

“Thankfully the cathedral authorities have now given way on this point and accepted that the King should have a medieval-style raised tomb. We hope that they will also agree to our proposal that prior to the reinterment Richard's body should 'lie in state' for a suitable period of time at York Minster, which is in fact where Richard had intended to be buried and where he planned to construct a chapel for this very purpose. Richard is still beloved in Yorkshire so it would be a case of his 'coming home' to York."

The Richard III Foundation, Inc., whose Hon.Patrons include the distinguished English actor and historian Robert Hardy, will be holding its annual UK conference at Market Bosworth - just a few miles from the battlefield on which King Richard died - on Saturday 12 October.

Guest speakers will include Chris Skidmore MP, author of a major new book on the Battle of Bosworth, and archaeologist Richard Buckley, who will be discussing the discoveries at Grey Friars, Leicester.

In addition to holding conferences and events, and publishing a regular journal, the Medelai Gazette, the Foundation makes grants to amateur and professional historians to further their studies of King Richard III and the Wars of the Roses. The Foundation this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.

For further information on the Bosworth conference, or to join The Richard III Foundation, please visit the Foundation's website www.richard111.com or email middleham@aol.com.