Leicester Cathedral has announced the final design of the tomb that will house Richard III’s remains. The coffin will be made by Michael Ibsen, whose DNA was used to prove that the remains found in Leicester were those of the 15th century English king.
The tomb will be a large, shaped block of Swaledale stone with a deeply incised cross, above a dark plinth of Kilkenny stone, carved with King Richard’s name, dates, motto and coat of arms.
David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, explained, “This is a tomb which reflects the era in which it is designed as well as the solemn purpose for which it is commissioned. To do anything else would be a pastiche of a medieval tomb and would ignore the fact he is being reburied in the 21st century. That is part of King Richard’s story now.”
Michael Ibsen, who is a direct descendent of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York, and who provided a sample of DNA that allowed researchers to determine the skeleton found in September 2012 was that of Richard, has been commissioned to build the coffin. He is a cabinet maker by trade. Michael said, “I’m really looking forward to starting the project. It’s seems a very appropriate gift to offer to my royal ancestor.”
The total cost for the burial will be £2,500,000, which includes money to make structural changes to Leicester Cathedral. A fundraising campaign is now underway.
You can watch a video of yesterday’s press conference announcing the tomb design: