One of the greatest finds of the 21st century has to be the finding of Richard IIIs remains. The find was the culmination of many years work and research, the real beginnings of which started in 1986 when David Baldwin presented a paper that stated Richard IIIs remains were likely to be located under the Greyfriars area of Leicester. Nothing much was going to happen for the next 20 years due to the expense and practicalities of carrying out an exhumation to try and find him as well there still being people who said that he was actually located at the Newarke. By 2010, however, things were really starting to move forwards as John Ashdown-Hill published his book stating that if Richard’s remains were found then they would be able to be formally identified by DNA as he had found direct decedents of the king.
With this new development things began to move forwards with considerations being turned to money. This issue was solved and the dig was started on Friday 24th August 2012. Unbelievably, the first skeleton that the archaeologists come across on the 25th August turns out to be that of Richard III, although they body wasn’t actually exhumed until 5th September (due to needing relevant permission to remove the body from its burial site). After 527 years undisturbed, Richard III has been found and says goodbye to the Church of the Grey Friars.
Official testing then occurs to authenticate the remains and official conformation is announced on 4ft February 2013. All that is left now is go put Richard to rest in a tomb fitting for a king. After much debate, it is finally decided that Leicester are allowed to keep his remains and his final reinterment will be happening in March this year.
A special tomb has been built in Leicester Cathedral to accommodate the king when his remains arrive at 17:45 on Sunday 22nd March. There will be events and viewings on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before a service at 11:30am on Thursday 26th when his bones will be official reintermed. The cathedral will close after the service for the final construction of the tomb to take place but will reopen at 12 noon on Friday 27th March for a service to reveal the tomb. It will be on this date that Richard will have his final resting place and will be at peace, at last.