Move over Kate! A new phenomenon – the Richard effect – has begun to take the world by storm, following the reinterment of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral last week.
More than 2,500 people attended the service held in honour of the Plantagenet King, and an additional 7,000 visited Bosworth to see Fenn Lane Farm – the site of the battle in which Richard was killed – and to take part in the events held during the week. This figure of nearly 10,000 visitors is around seven times the amount that paid a visit to the historical site last year.
Meanwhile, Leicester Cathedral, which earlier attracted between 40 and 50 people a day, has seen a 20 fold increase in visitors following the reinterment, and is now visited by upto 1,000 guests every day.
According to Liz Hudson, a spokesperson for Leicester Cathedral, the influx of tourists also means a lot of extra work for the Cathedral staff, who are struggling to cope with the increased number of visitors. “They go to see the Richard III exhibition,” she said. “It is very exciting and now we need more volunteers as we haven’t got enough.”
Franne Wills, a member of the county council, said: “We were really delighted with the fantastic numbers of visitors who came to the site and there’ll be a lot for them to see over the Easter period and in the run-up to our re-enactment weekend in August.”
Easter events at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre include special talks about arms and armour, costumed walks and falconry displays. A temporary exhibition is on display at Leicester’s Guildhall, but will soon be permanently relocated to school buildings near the site where King Richard’s body was found.
King Richard was defeated and killed by the Lancastrian claimant to the throne, Henry Tudor, during the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He was buried at Greyfriars Priory, but after the Church was demolished in 1538, the location of his remains were unknown. In 2012, a skeleton believed to belong to the Yorkist Monarch was discovered under a car park in Leicester. After further testing, it was proved that the remains were indeed those of Richard III.