Nerdalicious: Richard III - The Unburied King

Excerpt:

While we wait for next month’s judicial review, the university still has Richard’s remains in their custody. There is no certainty that the outcome will ensure he is removed from the University of Leicester, nor that the university will not decide they want to carry out more tests if he remains in their custody for another lengthy period while the battle over his burial place goes on.

“We are talking about royal remains,” Dr. Ashdown-Hill told us. “No other royal remains in England have ever been DNA tested, and no-one would think of attempting such a thing without royal permission. Therefore surely, in the case of Richard III, similar permission should be required in order to conduct extensive genetic testing, based on pulverising bone or tooth samples, of an anointed king.”

Queen Elizabeth II has steadfastly refused all exhumation requests of people buried on her properties. One of the most popular ‘candidates’, in the eyes of the public, would be the remains in Westminster Abbey thought to be the that of Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, the ‘Princes in the Tower’. Recently a request that a royal family member, Henry VIII, be exhumed, was made, in order to test his remains for Kell positive blood type, so his tyranny could be “explained”. In truth, what would these results really explain? The question of ethics is always pushed to the limit by science, in the name of knowledge. But we must ask the question, is this hunger for answers at the expense of disturbing the dead truly ethical?

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Source: http://nerdalicious.com.au/history/richard...

Nerdalicious: Fit for a King interview with John Ashdown-Hill

Excerpt:

What did you have in mind when you were designing the crown?

Well, obviously the modern kind of crown would look a bit inappropriate, so the first thing was to try to get at the kind of crown Richard would have worn. Unfortunately the fifteenth century was a time of change in terms of English royal crowns. Previously they had all been open crowns, but in the fifteenth century, closed (arched) crowns were coming into fashion, and Richard III probably wore one of those on occasions. But at his crown-wearing at Leicester, prior to the battle of Bosworth, and during the battle itself, I think he must have worn an open crown over his helmet. So I decided to go for an open crown, and took the basic design from Anne Neville’s open crown depicted in the Salisbury roll.

The crown commissioned by John Ashdown-Hill

The crown commissioned by John Ashdown-Hill

The next thing was the size and shape of the crown. Since Richard III’s facial reconstruction has hats to wear, details of his head size are obviously now available, so I got the measurements from Phil Stone, and ordered a crown of the right size and shape – so that, if he wanted to, Richard III could actually wear it. (But of course, he never will.)

The ornamentation of the crown was inspired by the surviving crown of Richard’s sister, Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy. That’s a very pretty, very feminine little crown. Obviously a copy of that wouldn’t really be appropriate for Richard. But we borrowed the idea of setting the jewels on top of enamelled white roses, because that’s how the jewels are set on Margaret’s crown. As for the jewels, themselves, the jeweller who is making the crown suggested sapphires and garnets, with pearls in between. I’m not certain why he proposed sapphires and garnets, but I jumped at his suggestion, because murrey and blue were the livery colours of the royal house of York.

Read the full interview here

Source: http://nerdalicious.com.au/history/fit-for...