King Richard III gets funeral, 530 years after death
Richard III finally received the ceremony and honor a king deserves. It just took 530 years after his death in battle.
Hundreds of people, including some in period costume and armor, turned out in England's Leicestershire on Sunday. They watched a procession carrying the remains of the medieval king. The cortege made its way to Leicester Cathedral. It is where the monarch will be properly reburied.
Richard was killed in battle against Henry Tudor in 1485. He was buried hastily without a coffin in a long-demolished monastery.
His bones weren't found until 2012. That is when archaeologists excavated them from a Leicester parking lot. DNA tests, bone analysis and other scientific scrutiny established that the skeleton belonged to the king.
On Sunday, a hearse carrying the monarch's remains, sealed inside an oak coffin, processed through Leicestershire's countryside. It was headed to Bosworth. That is the battlefield where the monarch fell. Crowds lined the route of the cortege. Re-enactors in costume fired cannons in a 21-gun salute.
Michael Ibsen is a descendant of the monarch and built the coffin that carried Richard's remains. Ibsen was among academics and others who placed white roses on the casket during a short ceremony.
The coffin will lie in Leicester Cathedral. It will be lowered into a tomb Thursday.
"His reburial at the end of the week will have all the dignity and solemnity that his original burial never had," said Phil Stone. He leads the Richard III Society. It was time to reconsider the king's legacy, he added.
The monarch was most famously portrayed as a hunchbacked villain in Shakespeare's play "Richard III." Some historians say he was a relatively enlightened monarch whose name was besmirched by his opponents.
"Let us remember King Richard III: The good king. The warrior king," Stone said.
Critical thinking challenge: Why were Richard III's bones found in a parking lot instead of a cemetery?