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Historians and students of medieval history gathered in York today for a special event in memory of King Richard III, England’s last Plantagenet monarch.
The Richard III Foundation held wreath-laying ceremony and commemorative event at York Minster this morning in honour of the English king who died in battle at Bosworth in 1485. The ceremony takes place just over a year after the discovery and excavation of King Richard’s burial place in Leicester.
Richard III was the last of the Plantagenet line of kings, but has a controversial reputation among historians and the general public. For many Richard III’s memory is still revered by present-day ‘Ricardians’ and a more balanced picture of King Richard is emerging.
As part of this morning’s ceremony at York Minster, a wreath of white roses was placed by JoeAnn Ricca, President and Chief Executive of The Richard III Foundation.
Today’s ceremony at the Minster also marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Richard III Foundation, the international educational organization dedicated to studying the life and times of Richard Plantagenet.
For two decades the Foundation has been working to restore the reputation of King Richard and to rescue the historic Richard III from the Shakespearean caricature. The Foundation has grown since 1993 from a small organization in the USA to one with a worldwide presence, over 800 members and branches in the UK and Australia.
Working tirelessly to challenge the popular view of King Richard III, the Foundation is staffed by a body of volunteers who generously donate their time and skills to advancing research into all aspects of English history during the period in which Richard lived, and especially into the conflict known as the Cousins’ War (and generally called today the Wars of the Roses).
The Foundation has established itself as one of the most well-respected organizations of its kind, sponsoring academic events and publications, providing research grants into the Ricardian period, and assisting local historians and scholars with research costs. It has supported educational projects as well as local heritage and battlefield preservation societies, working closely with the Bosworth Battlefield Centre, the Battlefields Trust, English Heritage, the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society, the Towton Battlefield Society and many others.
Its continued presence in the media has challenged the Shakespearean caricature of Richard III, stripping away the propaganda to present a more accurate portrait of a man who was neither a villain nor a saint, but, rather, a man of his times.
With honorary patrons that include the celebrated English actor and historian Robert Hardy and the distinguished historian Prof Anne Curry, the Foundation has garnered support from a wide variety of sources.
Its annual conference, held earlier this month at Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, featured a wide range of speakers including Robert Hardy, Prof Matthew Stickland, Prof Peter Hancock, Chris Skidmore MP and other foremost authorities on the Wars of the Roses.
For further information please visit the Foundation’s website www.richard111.com