Veni, Vidi, Vici

Countdown: 1 day to go to King Richard III’s reinterment.

Before I got out of bed this morning, I thought to myself that tomorrow is the day that King Richard III is reinterred and I am here in Leicester to bear witness.

Anyway, I was on form before I even left the hotel today. I went into the breakfast area and was eating my eggs and bacon when I overheard one of the two women next to me say, “Toronto.” I grabbed the moment and politely interrupted their conversation and said that I had overheard them and that I was from Toronto. Apparently they had been chatting to a couple from Toronto only moments earlier and they pointed them out to me in the restaurant. I went up and introduced myself and chatted to them for a few moments. They didn’t know about the Canadian branch of the Richard III Society, so I invited them to attend a meeting and gave them my contact information.

After that I decided to try to do as much as I could on my last full day in Leicester — on this trip, I have decided that I simply must come back. I went to St. Margaret’s, but it was unfortunately not open. I then went over to St. Nicholas and spent a lovely few minutes there. Both churches are reputed to have had King Richard III worship there or have his body lay there after the Battle of Bosworth.

I then ran into the fearless leader of the Richard III Society of Canada and she said that she was on her way to be interviewed by Macleans and that the reporter was asking to speak to a number of Ricardians, so she asked me to come along. I took part in the interview and just hope that I didn’t sound like a twit or not as much of a twit as usual.

I then went to the Wygston House for its Stained Glass tour, I was five minutes late, but was able to join. Despite asking one of the other people on the tour if I was on the right one, it turned out to be a tour of the house, which was much better as the house didn’t have any of its stained glass left.

Afterward, I went to the Jewry Wall Museum, but it was crawling with children and all about the Romans (sorry, more time for Romans next time). However, it did have several panes of the Wygston House stained glass, so I got to see that and find a nice gift for the long-suffering man in my life.

After that I went over to the King Richard III Visitor Centre for my timed tour. The upstairs had a tonne of information about the archaeological dig as well as the research into the confirmation that the body was indeed King Richard III. They also had the facial reconstruction on display. I bent down a little to look him in the eyes and he didn’t seem as cross-eyed as before. Then I got to go into the chamber which has the archaeological dig visible through glass floors. It was so poignant to see the small place where he was so hastily buried all those centuries ago.

I tried St. Margaret’s once more and it was still closed. I then took out to do my King Richard III walking tour print-out and saw that I had basically done everything already as I didn’t really want to go to the Ricardian-related places that had been torn down. After that, I realised I had no more worlds to conquer. So I back to the hotel to have a well-deserved nap.

Fortunately, I woke up in time to go to my Leicester and King Richard III talk this evening, which was very interesting, in part because a gaggle of teenage girls was walking behind me part of the way and I could overhear their conversation, which was about King Richard III! Water on a stone! I also got to see several more panes of the Wygston House stained glass at the Museum where the talk was held. After the talk, I wandered over to Castle Park and walked through the ancient gateway, which King Richard III almost certainly went through as he visited Leicester several times as king.

I came, I saw, I conquered Leicester.

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