Yesterday was a beautiful but sad day. They handed over the remains of a King, ahead of his funeral this Thursday. Revealing his identity on 4 February 2013--what would have been my mother's birthday--was quite possibly the happiest day of my life.
All of this we owe to one remarkable lady, Philippa Langley, who dedicated ten years of her life trying to find his remains. While the likes of Bradley Wiggins acquire knighthoods for winning a bike race, Philippa has received no reward--and should. Also, the time is here when they should examine the bones in Westminster Abbey, now that we have Richard's DNA to compare by.
Richard III was important. This is why ALL the faiths came together yesterday, why there are sermons by the Archbishop of Canterbury AND the head of the Catholic Church, why there were Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Jews in the cathedral to pay their respects.
Then, in the debate which followed, we were treated to the unwanted opinions of the utterly odious Dr David Starkey. This puerile, gurning, cringeworthy, simpering old buffoon should NOT have been allowed anywhere near such a reverent event. Imagine how you would feel if you were burying your much-loved mother and someone gave a speech declaring what a whore or cow she had been? He was rude to Philippa, and to Philippa Gregory, a fine writer who gave us 'The White Queen'. He believes 99% that Richard killed the Princes, and follows Thomas More's tome to the letter--that Richard was gestated for three years, and that he was born with teeth and eating live frogs! Prior to this, he had been severely criticised for comments about other subjects in other television debates. He is not a nice person at all.
The literary world is filled with so-called experts, most of who are defined thus not by their peers, but by themselves. Starkey may be an exception in that he is one of the few self-professed experts to have enjoyed some degree of success, mindless of the fact that it is very strictly against the literary rules for one writer to publicly condemn another--a surefire recipe for failure. And what these 'experts' fail to realise--their senses drowned by their pontifications of self-adoration to such an extent that they start to believe that they are something they will never be--is that the entire world despises them and is laughing at them behind their backs.