10 August, 2014

Richard III, the last link between Angers and UK history, ressuscited with official funerals

Les restes du dernier roi Plantagenet d'Angleterre, Richard III, découverts en 2012 sous un parking de Leicester, seront officiellement mis en terre dans la cathédrale de cette ville en mars 2015. Avec la mort de Richard III, sévèrement dépeint par Shakespeare comme un tyran prêt à tout pour conquérir le pouvoir, s'éteignent les 331 ans de présence d'une famille d'origine angevine sur le trône d'Angleterre. La découverte des restes de ce souverain controversé ressuscitera-t-elle les liens entre Angers et le Royaume-Uni?

The last Plantagenet English king, Richard III, whose remains had been found two years ago under a car park in Leicester, will be buried like the others English sovereigns. Richard III, depicted by Shakespeare as a harsh king, was the ultimate heir of that first English royal dynasty which ruled the country from 1154 until 1485. The Plantagenet king was defeated by Henry VII, the leader of a new dynasty, the Tudors. The character of Richard III was revived by pure chance in Angers city two years ago, during the Accroche-Coeurs event, because of his responsability in Edouard IV's death, another character of the Plantagenet dynasty who could also claim to be the king of England.

The discovery of Richard III's remains put an end two a 500 years mystery about the circumstances of his death. The king was killed by Henry VII at the Bosthworth battle ("My kingdom for a horse" was his last statement before his death, in Shakes-peare's play) but since nobody had ever located it. For a long time, its was believed the former king's body had been thrown away in a river. In fact, he had been buried under the ground floor of a monastery. That was was a long time ago demolished and had left place to a car park. When that car park was in its turn demolished, archeologists found the structures of the monastery and, just in its center, a skeleton was brought to light.

Credit pictures : Leicester University

After Adn ana-ysis of the bones - and their comparison with Richard III descen-dants' Adn - it became obvious in February 2013 that the mysterious monarch had been discovered. He will be buried - definitely this time - in Leicester cathedral at the end of March 2015. And the English Channel 4 will dedicate a full week to Richard III.

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