The route which Richard III’s remains will follow before being reinterred in Leicester Cathedral has now been revealed to the public. On Sunday 22nd March 2015, the last Plantagenet King will make his final journey before being laid to rest in the cathedral on Thursday 26th March.
During the late morning on 22nd March, the hearse of the King will leave the University of Leicester, which is where Richard’s remains are being held. The hearse will move to Fenn Lane Farm, which is supposedly the place where Richard was slain during the Battle of Bosworth. The King’s remains will then travel to Dadlington and Sutton Cheney parish churches.
The procession will afterwards move to the church of St James’ the Greater, where it is believed that a number of those killed along Richard in battle were buried. It has been revealed that Sutton Cheney was chosen as a key stop on the procession as it has been recorded that Richard may have taken his final mass in this church before heading into battle.
During the afternoon, the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, will conduct a short service at the Bosworth Heritage Centre. The cortege will travel back to Leicester following this, stopping at Market Bosworth, Newbold Verdon and Desford on the way.
When speaking about the meticulous planning of the procession, a spokesperson from the Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board commented: “We are now working closely with partners in the district and the parishes to plan the detail of how the passing of the cortege will be marked.”
After this, Richard’s remains will then travel back into Leicester during the afternoon by going across Bow Bridge. It is here that the City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, and the Lord Major, John Thomas, will greet the cortege.
A hearse, which will be horse-drawn, will then be used for the final moments of Richard’s procession. It will travel from Bow Bridge, through the city centre, until finally arriving at Leicester Cathedral. Shortly before 6pm, the Very Revd David Monteith, the Dean of Leicester, will be present for the coffin’s arrival at the cathedral.
Once at the cathedral, the lead archaeologist on the “Dig for Richard III” campaign, Dr Richard Buckley will present and pass on the Ministry of Justice license, which was granted to the University of Leicester in order to retain Richard’s remains, to the Very Revd David Monteith. Through this presentation, the authority over Richard’s remains will be handed over to the cathedral.
Before a service of Compline later that evening, the coffin will be transported into the cathedral. From then on, Richard’s coffin will remain on display from Monday through to Wednesday, when members of the public will be invited to visit the cathedral and pay their respects for the King.
A reburial service will then take place on Thursday 26th March, where the last Plantagenet King will finally be laid to rest. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rt Revd Justin Welby, is expected to attend the service, along with a number of the senior clergy among others.
On Friday 27th March, residents from Leicester and the surrounding area will be welcomed into the cathedral in order to witness the revealing of Richard III’s tomb.