March 22: richard III or a cupatea a cupatea my kingdom for a cupatea

They are putting Richard III to rest this week. It’s been a long time for him to wait since 1485 and the Battle of Bosworth. I just switched on the telly as it was going dark this afternoon and here on Channel 4 is a four hour programme given over to the preparations (preparations, mind) for the funeral on Thursday. As I switch on there is a man in full War of the Roses armour on the comfy sofa with Peter Snow of Channel 4. The man in the armour has an American accent when he speaks. We see pictures of the coffin of Richard III driving through Leicester. People are throwing flowers onto it as it passes and weeping as if it were Lady Di. There is a young reporter interviewing people in the market square. A couple have come all the way from Brazil. The man’s wife has a ring with a line from Shakespeare’s Richard III engraved on it. That’s incredible, says the young reporter. I mean, Brazil wasn’t even discovered when Richard III was around. Oops! That’s a gaffe. You can’t talk about discovering countries anymore, darling. Where do they get these reporters from? Next there are other people on the sofa. Thee is a man from Canada who is a direct descendant of Richard III and a woman from Australia who is also direct descendant of Richard III. Thet’s incredible, says Peter Snow. You’re from Canada and you’re from Australia. The man and the woman don’t look too astounded by the news. Peter Snow tries to explain. I mean, he says, what does that tell us about how we live today? This is surely an interesting philosophical question, but no-one seems to want to run with it. Next we are interviewing the head of the Catholic church in England. He is doing the ceremony today, which concerns the arrival of the body in Leicester Cathedral but the big funeral gig is being given to the Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican) on Thursday. The Catholic head points out that Richard III had been a Catholic, necessarily, as there were no Anglicans in those days. This is a good point and one up for the Catholics. There is more stuff. Family trees. Was Richard a goodie or a baddie? And so on and on. I think I’ve had enough. I’ll have a cup of tea. What does that tell you about how I live today, Peter Snow?

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