The pinnacle of three years hard work by the Richard III Society in conjunction with the University of Leicester came to a conclusion yesterday as the mortal remains of King Richard were finally reinterred in the city cathedral during a solemn hour long service.
The King's body now lies in it's final, appropriate resting place at the head of the cathedral - and was given the due courtesy and respect that an anointed monarch should have (but did not) receive at the end of their life.
This is the first time in history that the general public have been allowed to witness the lowering into the ground of the body of a member of royalty. The service itself was a solemn, yet moving affair, with original music composed for the occasion and a reading from Benedict Cumberbatch (himself a cousin of the King and also about to star in a new adaptation of Richard III for the BBC's Hollow Crown series). .
However, it did not go without controversy. Dr John Ashdown-Hill and Phillipa Langley from the Richard III Society, themselves key players in the last three years of Richard's final journey were caught on camera in a candid moment as Dr Ashdown-Hill rolled his eyes at apparent inconsistencies in the sermon.
Later, on camera, being interviewed by Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy, he was asked about the situation. He replied that the was dismayed by the factual errors in both the sermon and also the order of service for the ceremony. He stated that Richard's date of birth had been printed wrongly and he was generally unhappy with some of the wording. Whilst his complaints were certainly valid, it did cast a shadow on what had otherwise been a faultless service.
The day ended with a final scene, the King's surviving 18x Great Niece and Nephew plus Ms Langley and Dr Ashdown-Hill around the tomb, for a minute's silence and a last moment of reverential respect. The foursome each took a moment, bowed their heads and left. The camera held a lingering shot on Ms Langley, left alone at the grave - as she had been the driving force behind the entire campaign. .
News reports today suggest she may already be planning her next project. The search for the body of King Henry I in Reading. Geophysical surveys are to take place near the remains of Reading Abbey, founded by Henry in 1121 to see if his bones can be found. Langley is keen to forge ahead with this and has set up the Hidden Abbey Project to aid the campaign.