A community appeal that was launched in November last year to raise money for the reinterment of King Richard III has managed to raise £11,000 of the £2.5 million required for the reburial of the former King of England.
The community appeal hopes to raise as much as £50,000 before the reburial. The are being backed in this effort by Richard, the current Duke of Gloucester.
Liz Hudson, a spokesperson of Leicester Cathedral, said: “We are delighted to say that the Community Appeal to raise the money to help pay for the reinterment of Richard III is going well, in that lots of organisations are holding events and joining in. But we need more.”
In addition to the efforts of the community appeal, the Cathedral is inviting members of the public to contribute to the fund. Clubs, organisations and schools all over Leicester are being encouraged to raise money through fund raising events, ideas for which include dressing up as King Richard day and medieval banquets, as well as simpler things like sponsored runs.
In fact, the students of King Richard III Infant School spent a day dressed up as various Kings and Queens to raise money for the community appeal. Head Teacher Jenny Barrett said that the children were very excited to be a part of the fundraising effort, adding: “Dressing up as kings and queens for the day is a great opportunity to take part in a bit of history and to have a right royal day of fun.”
So far, Leicester Cathedral has collected around £1.9 million through private donations and contributions. For every £1 donated, the Cathedral will give 50p from its own funds to Combat Stress, a mental health charity for veterans.
“We are delighted to have been chosen to benefit from the King Richard III appeal,” said Peter Poole, the charity’s acting Chief Executive. “The re-interment of his body will be an historic occasion and we are very proud to be a part of it.”
Combat Stress was founded in 1919, just after the First World War, with a mission to provide clinical treatment and welfare support to veterans who suffer from psychological wounds. Today, the charity helps over 5,600 ex-servicemen and women who are suffering from service related mental health conditions.
Perhaps it is fitting then that the charity is associated with the reburial of this Monarch in particular. Richard III was famously defeated by Henry Tudor (later King Henry VII) at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, making him the last English King in history to die on the battlefield.
Further inspection of his skull in 2013 showed that King Richard was killed by a violent blow to the head, as well as several other wounds, possibly inflicted during battle.
The remains of King Richard III will be buried at Leicester Cathedral on March 26, 2015. The reburial service will be preceded by events all over the city.
You can contribute to the fund here or text LEIC001 to 709970 to donate £5.