Sunday, 22 March 2015

5 Fun Facts About Richard III

1. Richard III became King of England in 1483, because he really, really wanted it. And nothing is going to stand in his way. Except, maybe the kid. And the other kid. But those can be dealt with. Richard's brother was King Edward IV, and when he died, Richard was named Lord Protector for Edward's twelve-year-old son, Edward V. A position Richard took seriously. Very seriously. Very, very seriously, Mwahahahaha. 

As the young Edward V travelled to London to take his place as the new King of England, Richard, ever the loving uncle, and totally serious about that Lord Protector title, met him halfway and escorted him into the capital city and then right into the Tower of London. One down, one to go. A few days later, Edward's nine-year old brother was kidnapped and imprisoned in the Tower as well. Gotcha both. Now no one can stand in my way, Mwahahaha.

2. Richard III killed the Princes in the Tower. Yep, he killed his 12-year-old nephew, Edward V, and Edward's nine-year-old younger brother, Richard, Duke of York. Well, there is no actual evidence that he did, but let's say he did. Mainly because he probably did. But also because he actually did. In June 1483, Richard declared that Edward V was not the rightful king as he was the illegitimate son of Edward IV. As was his younger brother. This cleared the way for Richard to take the throne for himself. He was crowned in July 1483. But, the two kids, or their supporters, could dispute Richard's new kingly position and mount an uprising against him. This could be a problem. Hmm, what to do? In August, the two young princes disappeared, never to be seen again. It's a mystery that has never been solved. But, obviously, Richard is innocent of the crimes and certainly didn't bury them beneath the stairs. He had no motive.

3. Richard III was hideously deformed. He resembled the monsters in the famous Alien movies, and even had a mouth-within-a-mouth that shot out so he could easily eat the brains of his enemies. This is probably how he killed the two Princes in the Tower. In fact, nope. Although it has been shown he had scoliosis of the spine, possibly making one shoulder appear higher than the other, he didn't look like a hunchbacked Alien monster. However, he did have a roundworm infection and was way over the legal drink-drive limit. How he managed to park his car, we'll never know. The guy downed about four hundred barrels of wine a day. He did love him some wine, he did. But remember, don't drink and ride hedgehogs into battle. It's illegal. 

4. Richard III was the last English King to die in battle. He died at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 after a series of serious blows to his head. Well, at least one of them was pretty serious. In fact, he had 11 wounds in total, 8 of them to the head. After his prized white hedgehog, which he rode into battles screaming, "Treason," got stuck in the mud as he charged at Henry Tudor with his lightsaber (they were fighting a war over the correct colour of a rose), Richard got struck down by a large object to the back of his head. Possibly an air-to-king missile. We'll never know for certain. 

Henry-I'm-About-To-Be-Seventh-Tudor, who was riding a Giant Panda, actually came to within a sword's length of being struck down by the Sith Lord, Darth Richard-Will-Get-A-Third-Off-His-Parking-Ticket-If-He-Pays-Within-Seven-Days. The barmy Richard was a pretty good soldier and fighter. He had all ready cut down more than a dozen-million of Henry's men to reach his replacement. But a blow to the head put an end to his reign, and his Yorkshire Terrier/White Hedgehog breeding program. Now, if Richard-Needs-Some-Aspirin had been wearing a helmet instead of his crown (what a show off) then he may have been victorious that day and William Shakespeare would never have dreamed of ridiculing the poor guy.

5. Richard-The-Third-Time-I'm-Buried-Is-The-Last was found in a Leicester car park in September 2012, begging for spare change and asking people to sign a petition banning any play written by William Shakespeare. For years, historians and archaeologists were keen to find the Church of the Grey Friars, where it was rumoured Richard III was buried. When they finally found a skeleton and an unpaid parking ticket, they rejoiced. A lot. They finally had a tourist attraction in Leicester that people would actually want to come and see. He is being reburied (again and again), shove that king in so tight he can't get out, today in ceremony attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Leicester Cathedral.

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