I’ll admit that I don’t know much about historic English Royalty… the extent of my knowledge coming from The Tudors, Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth, and the Robin Hood legend. Okay.. maybe I know more than that, but I was terrible at history in high school. We learn more each time we visit an English Heritage site or National Trust property. We learned EVEN MORE when we took a day out in Leicester and visited the newly opened King Richard III Visitor Center.
The King Richard III that has been immortalized in Shakespeare’s Richard III play was a deformed, Machiavellian character, usurping the throne from his young nephews, and ordering their murder to secure his position as king. Whether or not the actual KRIII was so cunning and duplicitous is left to history, but the new KRIII Visitor Center depicts a different story. The story of a brother who reluctantly becomes king and dies defending his crown. Perhaps it is because he came out behind that he is remembered in a bad light.
The KRIII Visitor Center also has a great exhibition on the archeology and science behind the discovery of King Richard III’s burial place. From the stories that brought historians to Leicester in search of his grave to the permits and certificates to exhume the bodies to comparing the DNA against the descendants of Richard’s sister. It was all pretty fascinating stuff.