Richard III: First image of tomb that could hold king at Leicester Cathedral (POLL)
This is the image of the tomb which the Richard III Society hopes will be the final resting place of the king at Leicester Cathedral.
Computer generated designs of the 7ft magnesian limestone casket have been released today by the society, following confirmation last week that the skeleton found in Greyfriars was that of the monarch.
University of Leicester archaeologists discovered the remains last August and chose Leicester Cathedral as the place of re-interment.
Now, the Richard III Society is in discussion with the cathedral over using its design to house the 528-year-old skeleton.
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Richard Smith, chairman of the East Midlands branch of the society, said: "It's a fitting tribute to Richard and includes many of his emblems and symbols."
Readers can have their say on whether the tomb is fit for a king by taking part in a poll on the Mercury's website.
Engravings around the sides of the society's vision for the tomb will incorporate Richard's personal and family emblems – including the white rose of the House of York and the white boar.
The stonework would also include the Cross of St Cuthbert, to highlight Richard's devotion to the Christian faith.
Masons would craft the casket from the same stone from which York Minster was built.
A society spokesman said: "The magnesian limestone represents Richard's journey from darkness to light and also his important connections with Yorkshire and the city of York."
The re-interment of the last Plantagenet king is expected to take place in spring next year.
The society has already raised £19,500 of the £30,000 needed for the tomb, if it is given the go-ahead.
The Richard III Society has already donated a number of tributes to Leicester, including a statue of Richard III, which stands in Castle Gardens, and a memorial stone at the cathedral.
However, before the latest project is undertaken, the society must get approval from a number of organisations, including the Cathedrals Fabrics Commission for England and Fabrics Advisory Committee.
The cathedral yesterday announced it was starting preparations for the reburial.
On March 12, architects will be given their brief about how the interior of the cathedral should be re-ordered to accommodate a tomb.
A spokeswoman said: "King Richard III will be interred inside the cathedral in a place of honour. There is already a lot of interest expressed about the location and about the nature and character of the lasting memorial.
"There is an agreed process to make this decision and it will ensure all views are heard and considered.
"We will take note of any proposals made by others, including those of the Richard III Society. The decision process will come to its own conclusions and, until then, no agreement has been made about any proposed tomb."
Richard Taylor, deputy registrar at the University of Leicester, said: "As licence holder we fully support the process set out by Leicester Cathedral for determining an appropriate resting place for King Richard III.
"The designs put forward by the Richard III Society are one interesting contribution to that process."
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