This morning Leicester Cathedral was treated to a performance by Benedict Cumberbatch at an extraordinary funeral: the reburial of Richard III, 530 years after his death.
Simply called “Richard”, the poem was written specially for the event and was intended to be a “meditation on the impact of his finding and the legacy of his story”, according to organisers.
Duffy said: “It is a privilege to be involved, in a small way, in this unique event and to have seen the style and grace with which the city of Leicester has made history alive.”
Richard’s story was given a new lease of life when his remains were unearthed in a car park in Leicester in August 2012. Today he received a ceremonial reburial, while his tomb will be unveiled tomorrow.
Watch Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance in full below:
Richard was killed at Bosworth Field in 1485, the last English king to die in battle.
Cumberbatch will play the monarch in BBC2’s Shakespeare dramatisation The Hollow Crown – Richard III. Richard was vilified by Shakespeare as the man responsible for the murders of Edward V of England and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, the so-called Princes in the Tower, but many now dispute this take on events.
Richard III: the Burial of the King airs on Channel 4 on Thursday March 26th at 8pm