Plea over Richard III souvenir online sales

Church leaders have appealed for people not to buy Orders of Service for Richard III’s reinterment over the internet.

Leicester Cathedral following a service for the re-burial of Richard III. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The king was reburied at Leicester Cathedral more than five centuries after his death and two-and-a-half years after his mortal remains were discovered under a council car park in Leicester. The next day his tomb encased in Yorkshire Swaledale stone was revealed.

In front of a congregation 700 people, including actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Lindsay, who had both played the much-maligned king in Shakespeare, an Army guard of honour bore the king aloft to his final resting place.

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In a foreword to the order of service, the Queen said that she recognised the “great national and international significance” of Richard’s reburial.

However over the weekend it was revealed that some of the service books have been offered for as much as £200 on eBay. Today the asking price for one was £175, while another seller was offering a service book for £102.

Social media posts suggested that those wanting to buy a souvenir would be able to buy a set of all three booklets for £12.50 from the cathedral.

“Please don’t buy orders of service from eBay they’ll be on sale soon for a lot less,” the cathedral tweeted.

He was originally buried in a hastily-dug grave in the old Greyfriars church but it was later demolished and over the following centuries its exact location was forgotten. Many had campaigned for him to be reburied in York and on the evening of his reinterment a service of solemn choral evensong was held at York Minster.