DETAILS of the reburial of Richard III have finally been announced, following the failure of a High Court bid to see him re-interred in York.
The last Plantagenet monarch will be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral next spring in what has already been dubbed “an effective state funeral.”
The ceremony will take place on March 26 and will be the culmination of a week of events honouring the long-dead king.
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He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 and afterwards was hastily buried under a church that was demolished many years ago.
But in 2012, in a search instigated by Darlington-born screenwriter Philippa Langley, archaeologists from Leicester University found his remains under a council car-park in the city.
A group calling themselves the Plantagenet Alliance led calls for the monarch to be buried in York – a city with which he was closely associated - and were granted a judicial review.
But they lost their battle in May this year, leaving Leicester Cathedral free to continue with their plans to re-inter the former king, who spent much of his childhood at Middleham.
The king’s remains are currently in the care of Leicester University and will be transferred into a lead-lined coffin on March 22 when they will travel by hearse to Bosworth for a day of events marking the king's final movements.
The journey will see the hearse travel through villages that were significant to the monarch's final days ahead of a service in Bosworth.
The coffin will then return to Leicester Cathedral where the monarch's remains will then lie in repose, his coffin covered with a commissioned pall, for three days to allow for members of the public to pay their respects.
Although the re-interment service will not be an official state funeral it will be similar – and will be broadcast live on Channel 4.
The Bishop of Leicester, the Right Revd Tim Stevens, said: "Our cathedral has been consistently committed to providing a fitting, dignified and memorable ceremony for the re-interment of King Richard.
"We can now see how this works out in detail and our city and county look forward to all the events of next spring."
The cathedral has already raised £1m of the £2.5m cost of the re-interment and the Duke of Gloucester has been named as the patron of the appeal. The patronage is appropriate because, before he became king in 1483, Richard was himself Duke of Gloucester.