Friday, 16 August 2013

A day of spitting feathers - more about Richard III

I'm spitting feathers today. Really.

But if you don't live in the UK, you may wonder what I'm talking about. Well it's a saying which has two meanings.  It can mean I'm very  thirsty -a metaphor for my  mouth being so dry, it feels like it's full of feathers.
There's another meaning too....we also say it when we're angry -like being so angry I'm foaming at the mouth. So which of those am I today?  Let's put it this way , I don't want a glass of water...

Why?  It's all about the King who was found in a car park..

 I've found out that distant relatives of Richard III have been granted permission for a judicial review of the decision to rebury the king's remains here in Leicester.

The Plantagenet Alliance, which includes fifteen of his relatives, want his body to be buried in York, saying it was the King's wish. So  they've  launched a legal challenge to the decision made by the Ministry of Justice that The University of Leicester could decide where Richard's remains  would be buried.

Now, Mr Justice Cave has granted Judicial Review proceedings against the Secretary of State for Justice and the University of Leicester .

I can't believe it! It all began nearly a year ago....and I've been following the story both here on the blog...and as a BBC reporter working a mere two minute walk away from where King Richard III was found...see below,

In February, the remains which had been found a Leicester car park were  confirmed as Richard's  by a team from the University of Leicester, led by Richard Buckley.

Now before the dig even began, a licence to carry out the dig, issued by the Ministry of Justice, gave the authority to decide where to rebury the king to the university. Quite rightly, in many people's opinion, it was felt appropriate that the King should be reburied in the cathedral just opposite where he had lay for nearly 500 years.

And where he has been remembered all over the city

In Castle Park Park Gardens, where you can smell where his statue stands before you see it....his statue is surrounded by the heady scent of nearly a hundred white roses....

 So, it seemed as if the matter were sorted....already thousands have come to Leicester, to the city where he set off on his last journey to the Battle of Bosworth, to see his resting place under the car park, to visit the temporary exhibition telling the story of who he was, and the now world wide famous archaeological dig to find him....

Leicester City Council's plans to build a £4 million  visitor centre are already well advanced and Leicester cathedral has already began a £1 million project to house the tomb of Richard III in time for his re-interment there next May. A  "significant space" is being created with a new floor, lighting and stained glass windows.

So what now? Who knows...but today the judge has said  the resting place of an anointed king is was a matter of "general public importance and touches on Sovereign, State and Church.".

So now it would seem there'll be a full High Court Hearing. I can imagine the urgent talks being held right now. Talks between passionate people  at Leicester City Council , Leicester Cathedral and the University of Leicester , on the legacy that the discovery of King Richard III has brought to all of us here in Leicestershire...and what it will mean if we lose the King.

I bet they're spitting feathers too...and when I say that, I wouldn't have thought that  they're all clamouring for a cup of tea ....

Today's track....well, here's Depeche Mode and "Wrong"...



  1. It's sad that the poor man can't be left in peace. It's as if that whole family courted rows and will forever more. The legal aspect was, I thought, all sorted but sadly not. For the sake of Leicester I hope he stays.

  2. So do I Ros! Leicester has looked after him for half a millennium...he should stay....

  3. I agree, he should stay where he is. Anything else doesn't seem right.

  4. Thanks're right...anywhere else doesn't seem right to me either...

  5. Born and bred in York, and a very happy resident of Leicester for the last 20 years, I have a foot in both camps. If strong historical evidence can be presented that demonstrates the late HRH King Richard III himself wished to be laid to rest in York (or elsewhere, such as his former home at Middleham, as opposed to York Minster - who, incidently, have asked that he not be interred there. Charming!), it would be morally wrong to disregard this. However, this needs to be more than just conjecture. I think an enquiry is the right way to do this, but would remark that relatives had the opportunity to raise any objections at the time the dig was being planned and the University's application submitted and/or authorised. Waiting until the outcome of the University's investigation was announced to launch such a campaign feels materialistic and disrespectful, however, given we are a democracy, we should remember that everyone is entitled to their own view. I will certainly be keeping up to date with the enquiry, not least for this case, but also for the implications it could have on future archaeological practice standards which, to the best of my knowledge, the University has fully complied with. It feels like a new War of the Roses might start, only between the Yorkists and Midlanders rather than the Lancastrians. What colour rose might Leicester adopt, I wonder...? :-)

  6. Hello....yes we do belong in a democracy....but feel that the University of Leicester has complied with the law. What happens though in future if the Plantangenet Alliance win their fight for Richard to be re interred in York? I think it sets a dangerous precedent for future archaeologists.

    I like the thought of Leicester rose though.....

  7. Leicester already has a floral emblem ... the cinquefoil or Rose of Venus which dates back over a thousand years. As for the burial location, there is absolutely no evidence of his wish to be buried in York or anywhere else. Clearly if he had survived Bosworth and reigned for a long period then Westminster Abbey or Windsor was the choice of Kings. Sadly that didn't happen and he was laid to rest by the King, Henry VII who some ten years later paid for a tomb to mark the grave in the Leicester Grey friars. We are in no position to alter our history and therefore he should most certainly stay in Leicester.

  8. Hello...thank you so much for this! I love learning something new first thing in the morning! I didn't know about the cinquefoil...but yes, it is seen all over Leicester. I wish I knew who you are...I'd like to talk to you about this. Could you email me at

  9. The two anonymous comments are from different people. Mine is the first but I think you're interested in talking to the second person. Do advise if that isn't the case though.

    1. Hello Mr First Anonymous! Actually, I would like to speak to G, but I would also like your contact number.This story is going to run and run, and it would be lovely to have your details (esp as you have a foot in both camps!)

  10. Hi Bridget, I'm in Kefalonia at the moment with a erratic WiFi !! I'll get in touch soon. G.

    1. Hello G,

      No worries, leave it until you get back! Bugt would like to speak to you!