History

Benedict Cumberbatch to give reading at Richard III reburial



Star of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, will read a poem at the re-internment of the last Plantagenet King, Richard III, on Thursday. The re-internment service will take place at Leicester Cathedral three years after his remains were discovered at the site of an archaeological excavation on a Leicester City Council car park.

The actor will read verses of a poem written by Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. The poet was commissioned by Leicester Cathedral late last year as plans and proposals for services were being discussed and drawn up.

Carol Ann Duffy is a Scottish poet and playwright and is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. In May 2009, she was appointed as Britain’s Poet Laureate,

Benedict Cumberbatch will give a reading at reburial service of King Richard III.

Benedict Cumberbatch will give a reading at reburial service of King Richard III.

the first woman and first Scot to hold this position. Duffy’s work explores both everyday life and the rich fantasy life of herself and others and her work is studied in British schools at GCSE, National 5, A-Level and Higher Levels.

Benedict Cumberbatch was recently identified as a third cousin, 16 times removed of King Richard III so it seems quite apt that a distant relative should give a reading at the last Plantagenet’s reburial service.

Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor and film producer who has performed in film, television, theatre and radio. His most famous role is of course Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock. Other roles include Cumberbatch playing Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, William Pitt The Younger in Amazing Grace and Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate.

King Richard III was King of England from 1483 until his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The Battle of Bosworth was the last decisive battle in the Wars of the Roses and marked the end of the House of York and introduced the country to the House of Tudor, a dynasty that would reign for just over a century though would present the country with some of its most revered Kings and Queens.

The poem that Cumberbatch will read is entitled ‘Richard’ and is described as “a meditation on the impact of his finding and on the legacy of his story”.

Carol Ann Duffy commented, “It is a privilege to be involved, in a small way, in this unique event and to have seen the style and grace with which the City of Leicester has made history alive.”

The re-internment of King Richard III will take place at Leicester Cathedral on Thursday 26th March. Royal Central will of course be providing full coverage of this momentous occasion.

Photo Credit: Melinda Caric

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