King Richard III
The remains of King Richard III are being taken to his final resting place in Leicester CathedralReuters

Five-hundred years after his gruesome death at the Battle of Bosworth, the body of Richard III is being moved in a cortege to his final resting place at Leicester Cathedral.

Richard – the last Plantagenet king – was hacked to death with swords and axes when his horse became stuck in marshes, as he attempted to attack his rival, Henry Tudor – later Henry VII - near Market Bosworth on 22 August 1485.

Since Richard's skeleton was found beneath a car park in 2012, there has been a dispute over where the much-reviled monarch's remains should be interred.

Richard III Leicester car park
Archaeologist Mathew Morris points to where he found skeleton remains during an archaeological dig to find the remains of King Richard III in LeicesterReuters

The Plantagenet Alliance claimed Richard wished to be buried in the north of England where he spent much of his life. After a lengthy legal

After a lengthy legal battle the High Court ruled there was "no public law case" to have his remains buried at York Minster cathedral.

Thousands of people are expected to line the route of the funeral cortege today, which begins at Leicester University and will take in local villages before being taken to Leicester Cathedral. Police have warned that some local roads will be closed and others busier than normal.

Police have warned that some local roads will be closed and others busier than normal.

From Monday to Wednesday Richard III's remains will be in repose at the cathedral. They will be interred on Thursday, in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and representatives of other faiths. Official celebrations across Leicester will take place on Friday 27 March.

Official celebrations across Leicester will take place on Friday, 27 March.

Richard III's funeral is potentially embarrassing for the Royal Family, who will not wish to be too closely linked to a king thought to have killed the "Princes in the Tower" and whose reputation has suffered ever since.

The Queen and the royal family are descended from the Tudors, and the royal website still refers to Richard as a "usurper".

However, in a surprise change of heart, the Queen has said she will be represented at Thursday's ceremony by the Countess of Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones, who will deliver a eulogy reportedly written by her majesty herself.