In our article, “King Richard III: A car park, a car park, my Kingdom for a car park?” of the 26th August, 2012, the British Gazette suggested that the re-interment of the late King should be in Westminster Abbey. Since then something of a contest has arisen between Leicester cathedral and York Minster as to who should have the remains and with them the tourist attraction and the gate receipts.
Those campaigning for the King to be reinterred in York point out that Richard III was the last monarch of the House of York and grew up at Middleham Castle before stating: “In 1484 King Richard III initiated a college of 100 priests within the Minster of York on which work had started before his death… this was to have been a chantry dedicated to Our Lady, St George and St Ninian, to pray for his and his kindreds’ souls. King Richard III almost certainly intended to be buried in this mausoleum…the bones of King Richard III should be reburied in accordance with his last-known wishes and that in accordance with his wishes his remains should be interred in York Minster.”
Readers might well be of the opinion that being from the West Riding of the County of York, this organ should favour York as the last resting place. It would certainly assist the local economy and would be popular with Yorkshire folk.
However, as anyone who has acted as an Executor and dealt with the administration of the estate of a deceased person will know, what is important is to try and comply as best you can with the wishes of the deceased. That would seem then to indicate York. However, we must bear in mind that the King’s consort, Queen Anne, daughter of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick predeceased her husband on 16th March 1485.
The day she died, there was an eclipse, which some took to be an omen of the King’s fall from heavenly grace. She was buried in Westminster Abbey, in an unmarked grave to the right of the High Altar, next to the door to the Confessor’s Chapel. Richard is said to have wept at her funeral.
An unmarked grave of his Queen might appear to some to give credence to the rumours that the King had poisoned her in order to marry his niece Elizabeth of York. The British Gazette however would point out that it is far more likely that this story is false and the elaborate tomb that would have been constructed for a Queen Consort of England would have been commissioned and if erected, dismantled and destroyed by the usurper King Henry VII of the House of Tudor – whose claim to the throne was not strong and who set out to eliminate those who had a stronger claim – something that was carried on by his son, Henry VIII and his successors, Edward, Mary and Elizabeth Tudor.
We therefore have to consider what King Richard III’s wishes would have been between the period of 16th March 1485 and his own death on 22nd August 1485 at Bosworth Field. It is in the British Gazette’s opinion reasonable to make the following assumptions:
1. That Queen Anne died of natural causes – probably of tuberculosis – and was not murdered by her husband.
2. That an elaborate memorial would almost certainly have been commissioned by the King and that if it had been completed before the battle of Bosworth Field would have been dismantled very shortly afterwards, or if not completed or installed, would have been destroyed afterwards by King Henry VII.
Based on these assumptions, the British Gazette thinks a reasonable assumption would be that following his wife’s death, King Richard III would have chosen to be laid to rest alongside his Queen.
The British Gazette would therefore maintain that Westminster Abbey should be his final resting place.
We now turn to the re-interment ceremony. Again, FACTS should be borne in mind when considering this.
Firstly, King Richard III was a Roman Catholic.
Secondly, although given a rough burial by his victors, it is inconceivable that the King would not have been laid to rest by the monks of Grey Friars without the observation of the rites of the Roman Catholic Church at the time. This for the simple reason that the victorious King Henry VII was himself a Roman Catholic and would have certainly wished for a full requiem mass to be sung for his opponent for the sake of saving himself from perdition, for the new King would have been very well aware of Christ’s command to pray for one’s enemies!
These two facts should cause the authorities to carry out a brief re-interment ceremony and nothing more. It would be reasonable for the Dean of Westminster to invite Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster to the service.
However, British Gazette readers will not be surprised to learn that the authorities have something quite different planned for the late King.
We know this from a report in the Guardian newspaper which reported in 2012:
“Work has started on designing a new tomb in [Leicester] cathedral, only 100 yards from the excavation site, and Canon David Monteith said a solemn multi-faith ceremony would be held to lay him into his new grave there, probably next year. Leicester’s museums service is working on plans for a new visitor centre in an old school building overlooking the site.”
British Gazette readers will of course have spotted the words, “solemn multi-faith ceremony.”
It is clear that the treasonous coterie and their supporters are planning on a ceremony to extol their own importance and that of their friends and colleagues in the other faiths. Are we going to be treated to the spectacle of Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra reciting the Salat al-Janazah whilst facing the late King’s remains?
Doubtless, those traitors masquerading at the government of this country will seek to put in an appearance at this event.
Is it not however the most piquant of ironies that the tomb of the late King will bear his motto: “Loyalty binds me”?
Loyalty clearly does not bind the members of the government of his successor monarch as all of them have breached their Privy Council Oath and their Parliamentary Oath and have caused the Queen to be in breach of her own Coronation Oath!