King Richard III’s Remains Get $1.5 Million Burial Fit For A King

King Richard III
The skeleton of Richard III is seen in a trench at the Grey Friars excavation site in Leicester, central England, on February 4, 2013.

After the surprising discovery of King Richard III’s remains under a parking lot in 2012, the royal remains will finally get a proper burial. Leicester Cathedral has announced formal plans for a burial tomb there that will cost $1.5 million and include stained glass windows.

The centuries-old mystery surrounding King Richard III’s burial following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 was solved in 2012 when a team of archaeologists discovered his remains under a parking lot in Leicester. Richard was buried in a monastery by Franciscan monks of the Grey Friars at their Leicester monastery, but the church was demolished and its location lost to history until last year.

The remains matched the historical descriptions of King Richard III and the battle wounds that killed him in battle, with experts finding damage to the skull and an arrowhead in the vertebrae, and genetic testing confirming the discovery as that of the last Plantagenet King of England.

The Diocese of Leicester announced the plans for a proper burial on Thursday. Leicester Cathedral had a memorial stone dedicated to King Richard III installed in 1980, but the new tomb will serve as the official resting place for the king. In the release, the diocese announced the renovation plans will cost 1 million pounds (approximately $1.5 million) to create a space for the raised tomb, including a new floor, additional lighting and stained glass windows.  

The design for the tomb has yet to be finalized, but the archdiocese said plans are being developed by several architectural firms. The submission and approval process will go on for several months, with a final design expected in November, notes the release.

The designs for King Richard III’s tomb were shaped with the help of visitors to the historic cathedral. David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said in a statement, “We are committed to reinter King Richard with honour and we have listened carefully to the different views that were expressed. We want to create a really wonderful space in the Cathedral for him and the many thousands of people we know will want to come to visit and pay their respects.”

The reburial of the king’s remains will cap off a week of planned festivities honoring the monarch as well as the city’s history and its connection to Richard. Plans still need to be finalized, but cathedral officials hope King Richard III’s final burial place will honor his legacy and the story surrounding his once-missing remains.

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