“I’ve Never Seen the Streets of Leicester So Clean Before”

Countdown: 4 days to go to King Richard III’s reinterment. 

So after having a “cheeky pint” at the Last Plantagenet pub this afternoon, I thought that I might write as I waited for the funeral cortege of King Richard III to pass by. I have to admit that I got rather misty-eyed seeing all the planning that Leicester has done for this long dead king. I know it’s silly, but fortunately I’m at the stage in life where I now shed more tears of happiness and laughter than of sorrow.

Anyway, instead of typing away and passing the time with my thoughts, I managed to find a seat and sat beside a lovely woman who I chatted with for two and a half hours as we waited for the casket to pass by. She knew loads about the planning that had been done for King Richard III’s reinterment as she and her late husband had been involved with the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre for decades. She was at the unveiling of King Richard III’s statue in its original location, knew several of the big-wigs in the dig, and was a fount of knowledge about Leicester as she had lived in the city all her life. Interestingly, the funeral directors used for King Richard III’s reinterment was the same company she used for her late husband.

027031I’ve seen a number of crowds watching parades over the years, I’m not usually keen to be part of the gathering, but it was almost electric as the helicopters flew overhead, the officials looked about grimly, and the crowd pressed together. A number of people had white roses to throw at the passing casket, I didn’t have one, but I did bring along the little Canadian flag my mum lent me and I got that out for a little wave as the casket went by.

The lady I was with said to me at one point, and she had a lovely sense of humour, “I’ve never seen the streets of Leicester so clean before.”

It was amazing to witness history!


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2 Responses to “I’ve Never Seen the Streets of Leicester So Clean Before”

  1. Leslie says:

    Great photos! You were right up at the front — perfect. What does the coffin look like in real life? It looks very basic from here. I know Michael Ibsen made it, but I’m trying not to think of Ikea…
    The cortege and burial of the last Plantegenet, happening in 2015. That’s an amazing thing. It just is.

    Like

    • torontopubs says:

      Thanks for your comment. The coffin is very basic, but the top is craved with “Richard III” and his dates, along with an emblem. You can read the article in Macleans that shows the top. I rather like the plainness of the coffin, but I do wish they’d gone with the Society tomb design.

      Like

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