Richard III
Richard III: History man

There are three things that have dominated the news agenda this week - the gay marriage vote, Chris Huhne's court appearance and Richard III, whose skeleton has been found beneath a car park in Leicester.

It is unfortunate for the former king that he was unearthed on the same day that one of the big guns in the Liberal Democrat Party admitted to a barefaced lie and the day before one of the biggest votes the country has had for a long time. The third King Richard never really got his fair share of the headlines.

All that I know about him was what I gleaned from the half-remembered Shakespeare play we read at school and the Horrible Histories programme. What Shakespeare wrote about him may not have been true anyway - a case of 16th-century historical vandalism.   

Predictably excited by it all was the Richard III Society which said on its website that it has been working since 1924 to secure a more balanced assessment of the king. The discovery raised his profile and he probably will have his reputation restored but it does give pause for thought how different things may have turned out if Richard had beaten Henry VII on Bosworth Field that day in 1485.  

The line of succession would have been changed and we wouldn't have had Henry VIII on the throne. The Church of England would not have been created and Charles I would not have been around to rile parliament into fighting the English Civil War which paved the way for the British government taking greater control and reducing the power of the monarchy. 

If Richard III had won his last battle then even the last two days would have been very different. Wee would not have had a Church of England to protest against gay marriage and parliament would be a very different place of fewer members. We may not have had Chris Huhne as an MP so he wouldn't have to resign his MP's job for perverting the course of justice in the first place.

All a very neat circle of past and present events coming together. As for the reputation of Richard III, I think I will wait until Horrible Histories do another song about him.

Lucy P writes commentary on news, politics and media on her blog Falling on a Bruise

This article was updated November 30, -0001 00:00 AM
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