Crown takes centre stage at YAT’s Richard III Experience
With history enthusiasts around the world awaiting the reburial of the remains of Richard III, visitors to the new Richard III Experience in York now have the unique opportunity to see a new interpretation of ‘the crown that never was’ – Richard’s funeral crown.
As the archaeology shows that Richard III was buried by his captors, he never had the kind of elaborate funeral that a medieval monarch might expect, so noted Ricardian historian, Dr John Ashdown-Hill, has commissioned a 15th century-style coronet, which goes on display for two months from 19 May 2014 in the Richard III Experience in Monk Bar, before it starts a tour of the country. The crown was constructed by medieval jewellery expert George Easton, and takes inspiration for its design from historical sources relating to the infamous monarch, including illustrations and surviving relics from the period.
“The crown is plated with gold, with the circle set enamelled with white roses and pearls. On the roses are set rubies and sapphires, representing the livery colours of the house of York. The crosses of the crown have more enamelled white roses, set with emeralds and turquoises,” explains Dr Ashdown-Hill, who was one of the leading figures in the hunt for Richard III in Leicester.
Dr Ashdown-Hill was inspired to commission the crown whilst carrying the box containing the remains of the Plantagenet King. Although circumstances dictated that Richard did not wear a crown during his own burial, the new crown will be used as part of the medieval Sovereign’s interment service.
Housed in Monk Bar, one of the medieval gateways to York with the closest connection to Richard- he is reported to have had the top floor of the Bar built during his reign- the Richard III Experience has been open since April 2014 and explores the monarch’s influence on the city of York.
Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions at The JORVIK Group which runs the Richard III Experience and York’s Tourism Ambassador for 2014 said:
“Richard III’s reign may have been short but his influence on York cannot be underestimated. The Richard III Experience is the perfect place for people to explore Richard’s life and reign and we are excited to have access to the replica crown to help to give our visitors insight into the majesty of medieval kings.”
The Richard III Funeral Crown will be available to view from 19th May until Early July and is included in the entry fee for the Richard III Experience at Monk Bar. More information can be found online at www.richardiiiexperience.com.