Channel 4, who were the broadcasters to produce the award-winning documentary Richard III: The King in the Car Park, and were the ones to reveal to the nation the discovery of the King’s long-lost remains, will be the only channel to show the procession of Richard’s remains live on television.
Prior to the reburial service in Leicester Cathedral on Thursday 26th March, Richard’s remains will begin a five-day journey on Sunday 22nd, where The King will be taken on a procession, following the last journey that he took before being killed at Bosworth Field in 1485.
Through three live programmes during this journey, Channel 4 will broadcast the ceremonies that will take place prior to his reburial and during the re-interment. Jon Snow, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Arthur Williams and Sonali Shah will all be presenting the three broadcasts.
On Sunday 22nd March, the live coverage of Richard III: The Return of the King will follow The King back to Bosworth Field, where he sustained numerous fatal injuries during the battle in which Henry Tudor was victorious. The procession will then move along the streets of Leicester, and finally come to Leicester Cathedral, where the first of a number of ceremonies will take place to mark the re-interment. During the reception of the remains into the Cathedral, a sermon given by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, will take place.
The Bosworth beacon will be lit as Richard’s remains are received into the Cathedral. Various historians, descendants of Richard III, actors and politicians will gather for this programme to discuss Richard’s background and his reign, and to ask what his legacy will now be after his burial.
On the morning of Thursday 26th March, there will be live coverage of the re-interment. The Countess of Wessex and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will be attendance at the reburial service. The programme, titled Richard III: The Burial of the King, will show the last Plantagenet monarch be laid to rest in the east end of the Cathedral. Jon Snow will be joined before and after the ceremony by guests of the service to discuss the reburial, and a variety of short clips will be shown of preparations that were needed to put on such a unique event.
On the Thursday evening, the final episode of the series, Richard III: The King Laid to Rest, will be broadcast. The final programme will show highlights from the re-interment earlier on in the day, and an intimate ceremony for those who campaigned to search for Richard’s remains and the descendants of The King will be shown. During the episode, the Bosworth beacon will be extinguished, and Richard’s tombstone will be shown to the public for the first time.
Speaking of the events, the Chief Creative Officer, Jay Hunt commented: “The discovery of the remains of Richard III was an extraordinary event which gripped the whole world. I am incredibly proud that Channel 4 was the only broadcaster to follow the story so closely from the very beginning and that we can be here as this remarkable story comes to its fitting conclusion.”