In the shadows no more; or the Return of the King

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The individual whose remains were unearthed in a car park in September 2012 were confirmed this morning as being those of Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.

I, along with a number of fellow RA fans listened/watched BBC Leicester this morning to hear the presentation by the various individuals on their research results. Excitement seemed to build as they shared the details. Surely, surely all the evidence pointed to it being the slain king?

richardIII

Finally the DNA evidence was given and the verdict shared: the body that had been in the shadow of Leicester Cathedral was the last Plantagenet.

Some of us cheered. Some of cried. I felt a chill down my spine.

Plans are for the monarch to be re-interred within the walls of the cathedral, in the shadows no more.  Tonight’s documentary will also include the full facial reconstruction that’s been done from the skull of the King to be compared with his portraits.

It appears Richard III’s appearance–the withered arm and the extreme deformity of his back–as seen in Shakespeare’s play and other writings were the fabrication some had imagined them to be.

king-richard-iii-skeleton

“The wind of change is blowing,” said Phillipa Langley of the Richard III Society, saying it was now time to discover the truth about a king much maligned by political spin doctors and writers of the past.

“We have searched for Richard, and we have found him,” Langley, who has written a script about R III, said. “Now it is time to honour him.”

There are plans to re-inter the King in the cathedral no later than August 2014. White roses were placed there shortly after the announcement was made.

English: King Richard III and his family in th...

English: King Richard III and his family in the contemporary Rous Roll in the Heralds’ College. Left to right: Anne Neville, Queen of King Richard 3rd; King Richard 3rd; Edward, Prince of Wales, their son. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a link to BBC Leicester’s report:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21282241

And here’s a link to an article about Philippa Langley:

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-02-04/meet-philippa-langley-the-woman-who-discovered-richard-iii-in-a-car-park#.UQ-gKf0y_qs.twitter

Now, we really need to hear from a certain Leicester lad . . .  surely he and his dad were watching/listening as the historic announcement was made? What thoughts were going through their heads?

It’s an exciting moment for Leicester and for England, that is for certain, and a special one for Richard Armitage fans and lovers of history around the world.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

17 responses »

  1. I got a big lump in my throat. It’s such an amazing story and i felt very privileged to be able to watch history unfolding live.

    • To find an anointed king five centuries after his death is pretty amazing. I found myself imagining what his final moments must have been like (wretched) and the terrible humiliation his body suffered afterwards. And now to be in “the shadows no more.”

      • I am also surprised how strongly i feel about where he goes next. I think he should be interred next to his wife in Westminster. It’s where the Plantagenet kings (although not Edward IV) are buried. And he was a king so he should be honoured as such. I am also imagining that’s where he thought he would be buried. I can understand there is a strong argument for Leicester Cathedral though..

        • Someone they interviewed after the press conference said he had indicated he wanted to be buried at York, but I don’t know anything for sure. Certainly Leicester has a strong case in their favor. I would simply like to see his remains treated with the respect they were so clearly denied all those years ago.

          • I suppose his preference for York does make sense. I wonder why he didn’t have Anne buried there.

            Bedtime for me. The end of a momentous day. 🙂

  2. How exciting! History comes alive! I’ve read several historical novels about Richard III from different points of view. There are so many mysteries surrounding his life and those of his family. What awful lives they led brother against brother, not knowing who to trust, being manipulated by many people. It’s great that one on the mysteries is solved.

      • Oh forget the post above, I just saw his spine! (See what happens when you’re late and don’t read or watch the evidence!) He did have a terrible scoliosis of the spine! It’s amazing he could fight in battles!

        • I was chatting to my physio about the scoliosis this morning. She thought that it quite possibly wouldn’t be too much of an issue for him because the ‘hump’ gets worse with age and a well nourished fit young man could manage such a condition without too many problems. I noticed his skull still had most of his teeth and apparently the bones indicated a protein rich diet so perhaps the writers who portray him as a handsome warrior are closer to the mark than Shakespeare.

  3. Lovely summing up Angie. It certainly was a momentous occasion, and fascinating to watch and listen as it unfolded. I recently finished The Sunne in Splendour (I was ahead of the group read because I couldn’t put the book down!) and was quite emotional at the end when Richard III died. His body was treated with such indignity that it’s going to be truly wonderful to see his remains interred with the ceremony and respect befitting a king.
    Phillipa Langley deserves some kind of award, maybe an OBE or the like, for her persistence in getting this whole discovery off the ground.

  4. Amazing how Phillipa Langley’s persistance, insistance and sheer hunch have paid off! Well done, University of Leicester in establishing the truth! I think that King Richard should be buried in Leicester Cathedral as his story will inextricably be bound with the city’s in future years. My heart swells with pride for this Midlands city!

  5. I wasn’t able to listen to or watch the announcement today but just finished reading about it. Such an exciting moment! I so much hope that Philippa Langley’s long time dream about a film will eventually come true and that the dream will involve a certain Leicester lad!

  6. I wasn’t able to get streaming radio or video, but reading about the various proofs, I am so glad that the king’s remains will be treated with respect at last. When I think about how Richard III died, shot in the back so he was likely paralysed and fell from his horse, and then to have his helmet with the crown knocked or wrenched from his head so he was helpless and attacked from behind as someone cleaved his skull — if the one who killed him was in fact Henry Tudor, well, that foul behaviour would not surprise me. The indignities and mutilation visited on the king’s body were sickening and unnecessary. Richard III did not get justice then, and it’s a little late now. Yet maybe at last there is some small measure of restitution that can be made.

    I truly hope that this moves the film project forward, and with “our” Richard being part of it in the way he wants to be.

    • It was a terrible death but one which was suffered by thousands of soldiers in those days. Brutal times. As for Henry Tudor – as he was taken from his mother (who was very young -12?) as a baby and raised almost solely by men to be a warrior, it doesn’t surprise me that he could cleave the head of another man in 30 years later. The more i read about those times, the more i think they were all victims of one cruelty or another.

  7. I have also been reading about it and watching the various videos connected to it. It was wonderfully exciting to read – and hear – that the remains are indeed those of Richard III and it gave me goosebumps.

    One of my first thoughts was how thrilled John Armitage (and naturally his son) would have been to hear that it had been confirmed at last. Finally this much maligned King will be revealed for who he really was and not some Shakespearean version and that his remains will re-interred with the respect and honour due to them. Somehow I rather like the idea of him being buried in Leicester Cathedral. Could that be because we have an affinity for a certain Leicestershire lad who is named after him? 🙂

    I certainly have to agree with Mezz that Philippa Langley should be given an award of some kind. Would this have happened without her dogged persistence? I doubt it. It gave me the shivers when Professor Kevin Schurer said, when discussing the maternal DNA, that if the discovery of the skeleton had not happened in this generation but in another 30+ years they would have had nothing to test it against. Doesn’t bear thinking about! See this link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYPTuwdMrW0. Fascinating!

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