Richard lll Reburial Putting the “Fun” Back In Funeral

Anglophiles are giddy over this week's ceremonies honoring one of Shakespeare's worst villians

The coffin of Richard III arrives at St Nicholas Church after a service as it processes through Leicester City centre ahead of internment at Leicester Cathedral on March 22, 2015 in Leicester, England, Sunday, March 22, 2015. The skeleton of King Richard III was discovered in 2012 in the foundations of Greyfriars Church, Leicester, 500 years after he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field. Richard III’s casket will lie inside Leicester Cathedral for public viewing for three days until 26 March when he will be re-interred during a service. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

(WTNH) Overcoming more than 500-years of bad PR is a tough job.  But judging by all the hoopla over in merry olde England, King Richard the Third has pulled it off.  The last Plantagenet king died in battle in 1485, the last British monarch to do so, for what that’s worth (maybe if it was mandatory for today’s political leaders to literally lead the troops into battle, there would be fewer wars.  But I digress).  But even as Richard’s remains are prepped for a “proper” burial Thursday, following a Sunday procession with all the requisite pomp and circumstance, the war over his reputation still rages.

Archeologists found Richard’s bones in 2012, underneath a Leiscester parking lot, or as it’s more pleasantly called in British-speak, a car park.  After his death in battle, his body was buried coffin-free in a monastery that was demolished long ago.  Eventually a car park took the space.  There.  I got to say “car park” again.

Unfortunately for Richard, his story was taken up by one William Shakespeare, an author of some renown and influence, who depicted the monarch as a hunchbacked villain who killed little princes and was an all-around unpleasant fellow.  It’s hard to counter the words of the greatest figure in all of literature, but some people kept trying.  For them, this is a good week.

For others, though, he deserved to end up rudely interred in a suburban car park (!).  I know this by reading the voluminous comments on every web story about this week’s Richard fest. They say Richard was a very bad person, and a lousy king as well.

The Richard lll Society has begged to differ, and the events this week are what its members have been waiting for, for like, half-a-millennium.  They say Richard got a bad rap, and that it’s time to reconsider his legacy.  Besides, occasionally executing princelings who could one day threaten your claim to the throne was pretty much par for the course back in those times.  Lighten up, Shakespeare.

If you care, go to your computer and read the comment battles.  They’re enlightening, and I must say the web insults on the topic are quite a bit classier than what I’m used to.  One commenter faults his opponent for “trying to pass a subordinate clause off as a complete sentence.”  The British are adorable!

But if you don’t care, I’ll understand.  I don’t even know why people care so much about the British royalty of today.  At least in the 15th century they actually ruled and made history.  Imagine a Shakespeare play about the royal family of today.  I think it would be listed as one of his comedies.

I welcome your comments below.  But if you misuse a subordinate clause, don’t expect me to take you seriously.

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