Farewell to the monarch that many in Yorkshire hold dear

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Many in Yorkshire hold Richard III dear and today on such a significant day they paid their own personal tribute to the last Yorkist king.

Some had pinned white roses, the symbol of the House of York, to their coats and jackets while others carried a stem or small bunches of the bloom as they attended a service of solemn choral evensong inside York Minster, where many had argued he should have been reburied.

Around five hundred people queued patiently to get a seat inside the quire but as it filled up extra seats had to be brought out. Such was the demand that some had to seated outside the quire where they sat unable to see the events but patiently listening.

Afterwards a procession, led by the senior clergy and the civic party, walked across the Piazza, along Stonegate to St Helen’s Square to Mansion House where The Lord Mayor of York, Coun Ian Gillies addressed those gathered.

Outside the Minster many said it was fitting service - although some walked out saying it was too focused on the events in Leicester.

A campaign to bury Richard in York was unsuccessful but the city decided to mark the reinterment this evening after events in Leicester had been held earlier in the day.

The service was lovely. It was very dignified...

Re-enactment group member Geoff McWhirter

However many attending the events in York today said they believed his remains should have been brought back to York to be reburied.

Christopher Heriot, who lives in Malton, said: “I think he wanted to be buried here.”

Steve Hutcheon, who lives in York, said many in the city thought of Richard III as one of their own: “Even to somebody not originally from Yorkshire like myself he is Richard of York.”

Another woman, who did not wish to be named, said she had wanted to attend because the events were part of history and something “..we don’t do very often.”

Members of a battle re-enactment group, dressed in period clothing and proudly waving Richard’s banner, had travelled from as far afield as Kidderminster and Derby to attend the service.

One Geoff McWhirter, said: “The service was lovely, it was very dignified, which is what was needed after all the controversy.”

Another, Simon Cannon, agreed his remains should have been reinterred in York saying: “He would have preferred to have been buried here really I believe.”

Today’s service was led by the Dean of York, Vivienne Faull, who told those gathered: “Richard has given us reason to remember all those who have died pitifully on battlefields throughout the ages.”

She spoke of the events in Leicester and the interest the discovery of the Monarch’s remains had generated saying it had led to a “reconnection with our history and with our stories.”

Events in York came to a conclusion this evening outside Mansion House when the Lord Mayor, Coun Ian Gillies, noted that the king’s memory would always live on in the city that held his memory dear.

As the light faded on a memorable day he noted: “...in this city Richard’s memory and legacy will live on.”