Kind Richard III’s coffin was draped in an elaborately embroidered black velvet funeral pall during the reception service for the monarch at Leicester Cathedral on Sunday 22 March.
Created by artist Jacquie Binns, the black velvet pall is beautifully decorated with an intriguing mix of images created with stitches and techniques which themselves date back over 500 years.
Along the length of each side are featured a knight in armour and King Richard’s queen in heraldic robes, joined by images of archaeologist Richard Buckley and the Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Monteith and others who have played a pivotal role in bringing the King’s remains to his dignified reburial.
At the head of the coffin, a simple circlet embroidered in goldwork, featuring the white rose of the
House of York created a place where a specially created crown was placed.
The Pall was draped over the lead-lined oak coffin by the descendants of four peers who fought both for and against King Richard at Battle of Bosworth in August 1485.
Jacquie Binns, who has created pieces for St Paul’s and St Albans Cathedrals, said;
“The commission was unique. It has been an honour and a pleasure to create the pall which tells both Richard’s story and the story of those who found his remains and brought them to reburial.”
A portable exhibit of the embroidered pall will form part of the permanent exhibition and interpretation programme at Leicester Cathedral.
This has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Drapers Trust and the All Churches Trust.
Vanessa Harbar, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands said;
“This coffin pall represents the coming together of past and present. It helps us to reflect on a tumultuous period in our history and what it means for our own times. Helped by Lottery funding, the pall and the permanent exhibition will ensure that visitors to the Cathedral will be able to learn about this extraordinary story and experience parts of the re-internment service for themselves. It’s just one of many ways that Leicester has used its heritage to regenerate the city in recent years.”
Jacquie Binns – Embroidery Artist