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Crown for Richard III during re-burial ready

Press Trust of India  |  London 

An ornate gold-plated crown, studded with sapphires, and pearls that will go onto the coffin of Richard III when he is re-buried has been unveiled.

The 15th-century-style crown, which has taken 15 months to construct, is on display at Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, to mark the 543rd anniversary of the Battle of Tewkesbury.

The crown has been designed based on the head measurements taken from the king's remains, which were discovered under a car park in Leicester city centre in 2012.

The crown has been made by medieval jewellery expert George Easton and was designed by Richard III Society member John Ashdown-Hill, who also financed the project.

"I was very impressed when I saw it completed. It does look beautiful. I would like to think that Richard III would be very proud of his new crown," Ashdown-Hill, a historian, who was involved in the hunt for the 32-year-old king's remains, was quoted as saying by Leicester Mercury.

Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field.

The plan is for the crown to accompany the remains when they are reburied. It is hoped this will be at Leicester Cathedral - although the burial site is currently the subject of a continuing court battle.

Rev Pete Hobson, the canon missioner at Leicester Cathedral, said the crown would be given "pride of place" at the proposed ceremony.

The finished crown has also been praised by Philippa Langley, leader of the Looking For Richard team.

She said: "This magnificent crown will honour England's last warrior king by giving him what he didn't receive in 1485."

The reburial is being delayed by a new legal argument over whether or not the University of Leicester's exhumation licence was valid.

The High Court has the power to quash the Ministry of Justice licence, which would overrule the current legal agreement to rebury the king in Leicester.

The Plantagenet Alliance - a group of 15 people in favour of a reburial in York - is arguing there should have been national consultation before the exhumation licence was issued.

Ashdown-Hill said that while public opinion needed to be taken into account, he was eager the see the king laid to rest.

First Published: Sun, May 04 2014. 21:05 IST