Clare Priory will have played a small part in the re-burial of one of England’s most famous kings when Richard III is reinterred at Leicester Cathedral in March.
On January 6, rosary beads and a cross – to be buried along with the skeleton of the 15th century monarch – were blessed at the priory by Father David Middleton.
Father David said that a normal blessing of rosary beads would take 50 seconds but this affair was “a little bit more elaborate”.
Attended by local parishioners as well as members of the Richard III Society from across the country, Clare Priory was chosen for its links with Richard’s family.
Richard’s mother, Cecily Neville, lived in Clare Castle and was buried, along with other members of her family, in Clare Priory.
Instead of a crucifix, a remodelling of the 15th century Clare Cross was included.
The cross was rediscovered in 1866 in Clare during work on the railway line and is rumoured to have links to Richard’s ancestors.
Richard III was killed in battle in 1485, ending the Plantagenet reign. His tomb was lost for centuries until it was rediscovered in a car park in Leicester in 2012.