Richard III's coffin arrives for reburial: what happens next?

530 years after he was slain in battle, Richard III is to be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral

(Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid)

Thousands of people have been queuing to see King Richard III's coffin at Leicester Cathedral before he is reburied later this week.

The discovery of the King's remains under a Leicester car park in 2012 was hailed as one of the most sensational archaeological finds of the past century. This week, 530 years after he was slain in battle, the medieval English monarch will be given the ceremonial burial he was denied in 1485.

His final resting place has been the subject of debate, with descendants of the Plantagenet line arguing that the King of York should be reinterred at York Minster, but they were overruled in May last year.

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Here's an outline of this week's events:

Sunday: procession of the King's remains

Richard III's remains were placed into a lead-lined coffin in a forensics lab at Leicester University last week. Yesterday, this coffin was taken from the university on an all-day procession, attended by tens of thousands of people. The cortège retraced the movements of his final days, with several short ceremonies held along the way. This included a private ceremony at Fenn Lane Farm in the village of Dadlington, believed to be the closest place to Richard lll's death. At St Nicholas Church, the coffin was transferred to a horse-drawn hearse for a procession through Leicester city centre before it was received into Leicester Cathedral.

Monday to Wednesday: public viewing of coffin

Over the next three days, Leicester Cathedral is open to the public to view the coffin of Richard III. The final design of the coffin, made by Michael Ibsen, a carpenter and Richard's 17th great-grandnephew, is made of English oak from the Duchy of Cornwall, contains a rosary and is adorned with a gold-plated crown set with enamelled white roses, garnets, sapphires and pearls, says the Daily Telegraph.

Thursday: re-interment of King Richard III

The remains of Richard III will be re-interred following a procession of "significant guests" from Leicester Guildhall to Leicester Cathedral. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will lead the reburial ceremony, with members of the Royal family and descendants of the Plantagenet line among the congregation. The coffin will be lowered below ground into a specially designed tomb, with a small vigil to allow his descendants and those who led the campaign to find his remains bid him farewell.

  • Channel 4 will be broadcasting 'Richard III: The Burial of the King Live' from 10am on Thursday 26 March

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