Sunday, 16 September 2012

Richard III - Found?

Well, we have to wait for the DNA tests for conclusive proof, but I doubt whether the comments made at the Press Conference would have gone so far if there was very much room to doubt that it is him.

I have no doubt that this will spark a whole new wave of interest in Richard III, and doubtless a whole catalogue of new books, both fact and fiction, from both the Richard-haters and the Richard-defenders.

Some people have gone so far as to suggest a state funeral. I think this would be OTT and plain wrong. For one thing, the country is broke. Far too much money has already been spent this year on fripperies at a time when essential services are being cut.

For another, at a state funeral all the best places would go to so-called VIPs. I suspect the number of 'VIPs' who care a fig for Richard can be counted on the fingers of one severely war-damaged hand. No, the occasion should be for his friends and supporters, not least the members of the Richard III Society and the other societies with an interest. For the people who actually care.

On historical matters, let me mention that for many years it was established 'tradition' that Richard's bones had been thrown into the River Soar. That is now almost certainly proved to be bunkum. In addition, despite at least one ignorant newspaper report to the contrary, it seems he was not a hunchback. (Many of us us suspected so all along, but the legend persisted.) The point is folks - there are other 'traditions' that may in time be proved to be a load of old tripe.