Richard III begins the Shakespeare play that bears his name by declaring, “Now is the winter of our discontent.” But for the actual king, this is the late summer of his discontent—at least if he’d rather his remains be undisturbed.
As the BBC reports, a University of Leicester archaeological team has set out to find the monarch’s remains, which was buried in a Franciscan friary in the city following his defeat in battle (against the Tudors) in 1485.
If human remains are found over the course of the two-week project, they will be taken in for DNA testing; if they are confirmed to be those of Richard, they will be reburied at Leicester Cathedral.
Richard, of course, received something of a bum rap from Shakespeare, who portrayed him as a cunning Machiavellian. In fact, his legacy is considerably more complex.
Ignominiously, a parking structure today stands at the site where they believe the late king lies. If his remains are found there, perhaps his most famous utterance should be altered to read: “A hearse, a hearse, my kingdom for a hearse.”