Friday, 27 March 2015

Richard III - Post 10 of 10

Five facts from this most amazing week:

1.  Over 20,000 people filed past the coffin.

2.  The oak and yew coffin was made by Michael Ibsen, cabinet maker, relative of Richard III and provider of the decisive DNA sample.

3.  The funeral service was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev Justin Welby, with representatives of world faiths in the congregation.

4.  The sarcophagus is made from two tonnes of Swaledale fossil stone with an inlaid coat of arms of marble and semi-precious stones.

5.  This evening 8,000 candles will be lit in nearby Jubilee Square.

And one additional fact about me:

I almost froze signing my book, The Children's Book of Richard III, on our pop-up market stall but thank you to everyone who came along, shook my hand, bought my book and said such kind words about it.

Thank you for visiting my ten Richard III blogs and now I shall curl up and sleep!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Richard III - Post 9 of 10

The Reinterment

The funeral of King Richard III took place today behind closed doors. I watched it on the TV. It was a beautifully orchestrated and extremely moving event.

This photograph is from the TV and it all happened here, in our Cathedral. I'm so proud of my City of Leicester.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Richard III - Post 8 of 10

Me chatting with customers
Twenty thousand people have filed past the coffin of Richard III in Leicester Cathedral over the last few days. For me today has been another day of signing my Children's Book of Richard III on the market. Did I mention how cold it is? No? It's freezing!!

Fortunately, Leicester Market is packed with friendly people. Many have travelled a long way to come and visit Leicester Cathedral and most of them want to chat about Richard III. I've done a lot of chatting as well as signing!

Tomorrow is the reinterment. I don't have tickets for the event so I will have to rely on the myriad of TV cameras to see what's going on. I thought, today, I would mention just one of the events which will be taking place during the service.

Dame Carol Ann Duffy has written a poem called 'Richard' to be read out at the service. It includes the phrase 'grant me the carving of my name' and, of course, tomorrow his name will finally be seen carved in the sarcophagus.

The poem is being read by Benedict Cumberbatch. There are two reason why he was chosen. Firstly, he is playing the part of Richard III in a forthcoming TV programme called The Hollow Crown. (Something to look forward to!) Secondly, he is Richard III's third cousin sixteen times removed. (Who knew?!)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Richard III - Post 7 of 10

I hate listening to my voice on the radio but I'm guessing that some of you would like to hear me being interviewed about selling my book so here is the link:

BBC Radio Leicester

And you'll hear my interview at 1:20:00

I spent this evening at Leicester Cathedral and the Richard III Visitors Centre.

The image of RIII is being projected onto the Cathedral wall
In the Cathedral we had a talk from the Very Reverend David Monteith. He told us that five thousand people had filed past the coffin yesterday and seven and a half thousand people filed past it today. They were still filing past as we sat there listening to him explain about the plans for the reinterment on Thursday.

Then it was our turn to pay our respects. We weren't given very long. In fact we were moved along quite quickly and this is why my photo is rather blurred but it was such a special moment that I decided to include it anyway.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Richard III - 6 of 10

Radio Leicester Interview
Lovely radio presenter, Jo Hayward, interviewed me this morning for her breakfast programme. As predicted by all my family and friends, I did not dry up. I managed to chat long enough to fill up my allotted time and you'll be able to hear my dulcet tones on Tuesday morning on BBC Radio Leicester.

A pop up book stall
Steady sales marked a good, if cold, start to our week of being market traders. Tomorrow I put on warmer clothes, a vest, maybe even long johns (whatever they are!) 

This photo is of Lynn Moore, publisher of my Children's Book of Richard III and owner of The Reading Shop, Oadby, talking to a customer.

The queue at the Cathedral
It felt as if everyone in Leicester wanted to view the coffin in the Cathedral. The queues were so long that at one point the wait was estimated to be four hours. I had to deliver some more of my books to St Martin's Bookshop at the Cathedral so I saw the queues for myself but I didn't feel the urge to join them. I am feeling very privileged (OK, smug!) because I have an invitation to a private viewing of the coffin tomorrow evening. I will, of course, blog about that tomorrow.

I did linger long enough to take this photograph of white roses that had been placed in tribute around the statue of Richard III outside Leicester Cathedral. (You can see just a few freezing queuers in the background.)

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Richard III - Post 5 of 10

My personal view of the Cortege

The afternoon began at Leicester's Jewry Wall with entertainment from Leicester's Morris Men.

The Leicester Morris Men posing near Jubilee Square
Next came the long wait for the cortege. At St Nicholas Church the coffin was transferred from the hearse to a horse drawn carriage. If we stood on tiptoes we could just see this happening. As we waited the crowds swelled until we were almost enveloped by them.
The spire of Leicester Cathedral is visible top right.
The horse drawn carriage was accompanied not only by mounted police, police motorbikes, policemen on foot and several helicopters, but also by two impressive knights on horseback, the sun reflecting off their armour.

And then the coffin was alongside me and it all happened in a fleeting moment so I didn't quite manage to get a perfect shot but I'll have to make do with this:

It was fascinating standing with so many people (visitors from New York on my right and from Norfolk on my left) and watch this historic event but now I'm cold and hungry and so I shall go and get my supper. Tomorrow it's the pop-up market stall to sell my Children's Book of Richard III and Radio Leicester. Exciting, isn't it!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Richard III - Post 4 of 10

The above is a copy of BBC Radio Leicester's advert from Facebook. They're asking people to 'be part of it' and that's exactly what I will be doing. Radio Leicester will be interviewing me about my book, The Children's Book of Richard III, at Leicester Market at 11 am on Monday morning. I'm not sure if it will be broadcast live or recorded but I dare say I'll blog a link to the recording... unless I mess up!

You can also find me today on Carol Hedge's blog. I'm lounging on her luscious pink sofa and I'm talking about... guess what? Yes, you guessed correctly, but there's a slight difference. I have found five fascinating facts about Richard III to ring the changes. You'll find my fascinating facts at The Pink Sofa meets Rosalind Adam.

There will be plenty of things happening in the City tomorrow. Apart from the cortege, which will be televised if you can't be here in person, I've heard that the Morris Men will be dancing at the Jewry Wall. There may be photos of them here tomorrow evening. There are sure to be photos of the cortege. Things are hotting up nicely!