Richard III Reinterment Week

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in News, Reinterment

A week like no other – Richard III Reinterment Week in Leicester

The following is a personal account of the Richard III Reinterment Week in Leicester in March 2015 with links to sites that will offer those who could not be there in person a glimpse of what it was like. The comments made here reflect the personal views of the author.

Let’s start with links to watch two of the services during Richard III Reinterment Week online, or those who were there might like to watch them again.

It was a dignified and moving service. I was able to watch it on screen live with several others of our branch members from NSW. It was an overcast grey morning with drizzle, but at the moment when Richard’s coffin was lowered into the ground the sun broke through.

The Service of Reveal of the Tomb  took place on 27 March.  I was able to visit the tomb on that Friday afternoon. Judging by the pictures published before, I had not been sure whether the tomb would work, but seeing it in reality is as always different. To me it felt absolutely right and part of the Cathedral. The floor tiles with inlaid Yorkist roses was a nice touch.

Here are some other links which might be of interest to you:

I have not been able to find any recordings of the Society Memorial Service on 23 March, and actually do not think that there are any. I had been lucky in the ballot and received an invitation to this beautiful service. From where I was seated my view of the proceedings was obscured, but I had a clear view of the main part of the service, the coffin of Richard III. It was covered with a beautifully embroidered pall, on the one side displaying on the one side figures from the 15th century and on the other side figures involved in the 21st century discovery of the King’s remains.

The Choir sung In Memoriam: Ricardus Rex by Graham Keitch, a beautiful rendition of the music, which many of us remember from the 2013 Australasian Convention in Sydney, though there can be no doubt that to listen to it in a church sung by an outstanding choir beats a recording played over a loudspeaker system.

Several of those attending remarked afterwards that this was the optimal service for them to remember and reinter the King, a sentiment I can only share.

The Reinterment Week started with Richard III Leaving the University of Leicester on 22 March. You can watch the full ceremony here: https://youtu.be/C4-8utmsESo. I was able to watch the cortege returning to Leicester in the afternoon and was more than impressed by the friendly and truly multicultural atmosphere displayed by all who waited for hours along the route.

In the evening of Thursday, 26 March, I was able to attend – along with hundreds of Society members from all over the world – a rendition of the Middleham Requiem by Geoff Davidson. The music was stunning and the soloists and choir exquisite. The recital was attended by HRH the Duke of Gloucester and two of our branch members had the honour of being presented to His Royal Highness.

The Richard III Reinterment Week concluded with the Leicester Glows Event in the evening of 27 March, a compilation of which you can view here: https://youtu.be/viI2lXBS2Os. Watching it on screen is not the same as watching it in real life, but I hope you can feel some of the atmosphere of reflection in the lights and of the excitement of the fireworks.

Don’t forget that the Orders of Service of the Service of Compline, the Service of Reinterment and the service of Reveal can be bought from King Richard in Leicester at the set price of £ 12.50 + p&p (so don’t pay for overpriced copies on ebay!). Or you can print off your own copy at this link.

This was a week like no other and I am sure I’m not the only one who feels that I still have to come down to earth after all these experiences. During the week, Richard was also reunited with his Book of Hours, about which I had written on another site (https://dottietales.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/the-book-of-hours-of-richard-iii/ ). At the time of writing that blog I had not been able to anticipate what a profound experience the Richard III Reinterment Week would be.

I would also like to take the opportunity to congratulate all at Leicester Cathedral and in Leicester itself on their hard work, which made this wonderful occasion possible. Everyone did a fantastict job in laying King Richard to rest with dignity and honour.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015 at 10:02 and is filed under News, Reinterment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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