Key Stage 3: Celebration

A celebration fit for a king and queen.

In order to keep in touch with his subjects, a king would travel through the country, visiting towns, monasteries, universities and cities. In 1483, after their joint Coronation, Richard III and his wife Queen Anne travelled across England for over three months. They travelled in great style, demonstrating to all who saw them that Richard was a king to be loved, feared and respected.

All cities visited during the royal progress of 1483 wanted support from the king, and in order to be looked upon favourably, they would put on great celebrations as King Richard entered the city. Huge banners would hang from the city walls. Short plays would be enacted, perhaps comparing the king to famous kings throughout history. No doubt some of the writers and actors who worked on the Mystery plays took part in these celebrations as well.

A cross-curricula suggestion is to combine several of these projects into a celebration such as may have greeted King Richard III and Queen Anne when they entered the city of York in August 1483. For example: making a cloak, preparing medieval food, performing a Mystery Play, presenting a portrait of the king, reading a passage from Chaucer, performing music, making a speech of welcome at Micklegate.

A King and Queen making a royal entry to a town, 14th century. Wikimedia Commons

Additional tasks to enhance the celebration

Design a banner with the coat of arms of York.

If you have the facilities and material, make your design into a banner.

Make white roses, Yorkist flowers, out of felt, tissue or other material to place in front of the king and queen.

Make crowns for Richard and Anne.

Drawing of Richard and Anne as King and Queen from the Salisbury Roll, c. 1483–1485.

Write a short speech for the Lord Mayor of York, John Newton, to welcome the new king and queen. Include references to kings in the Old Testament and great Kings of England: real ones such as Alfred, Edward III, Henry V and mythical ones such as King Arthur.

Record your celebration with images and video.

Above all, have fun celebrating the rediscovery of England’s last Plantagenet king.

The Richard III Society