Here in NZ, the spectacle only garnered a few moments of tv curiosity time, but it was Billy Big Time there. However not everyone appreciated the pomp and ceremony.
Michael Thornton, writing in Britain's Daily Mail, watched with …mounting stupefaction, the grotesque televised travesty involving the remains of one of the most evil, detestable tyrants ever to walk this earth.
|Richard III: R3, to his friends.|
2½ years after his bones were unearthed under a Leicester car park, and at the outrageous cost of more than £2.5 million, Richard was prepared for reburial with a 21-gun salute, medieval re-enactors in shiny armour and plumed helmets, children in paper crowns, onlookers tossing white Yorkist roses.
An aura of heroism has been conferred on R3 for being the last English king to die in battle. But he was only in battle because his usurpation of the throne - and his abduction/murder of his nephew Edward V - had provoked a popular rising/invasion led by Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond.
R3 need not have died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. If he'd retreated, the throne he'd stolen would've been lost, and his future would have been as an exiled fugitive. He died attempting to hack his way through to Henry Tudor, knowing that if he killed him, then the throne was his.
Was this heroism? No. Like everything else he did, it reveals the mind of a murderous pragmatist.
In this light, much of what took place last Sunday raised serious doubt about the sanity of some of the key figures involved.