It's been nearly three years since Richard III's remains were discovered beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England ... 500 years after his death in the Battle of Bosworth field. The bones were studied and their identity confirmed; now it's time for the monarch to head to his final resting place.

Seen here are Richard III's descendants (nephew 16 times removed Michael Ibsen, left, and his brother Jeff Ibsen, right, and niece 18 times removed Wendy Duldig) adding white roses to his coffin after a procession that brought the body from the site of the battle to Leicester Cathedral.

Advertisement

Though the historical importance of the discovery is undeniable, there's been some symbolic pushback due to the king's "contested reputation," according to Bishop of Leicester Tim Stevens. Still, he's committed to the cause, the Guardian reports:

Bishop Stevens insisted that it was a privilege for everyone in Leicester to be part of what he called "the great drama of Richard III's reinterment … a moment when as a nation we can touch a critical moment in our story, recalling the intense conflict of the Wars of the Roses, and the fundamental shift in the monarchy of the late Middle Ages."

"In the great services that will mark his reinterment, we shall recall the events of Richard III's life and death, we shall commend him to the mercy of God and we shall pray for the healing of the world's conflicts in our own day. We want to ensure that King Richard III is buried with the dignity and honor which was not accorded him at the end of his life."

This photo was taken today outside the Fielding Johnson Building at the University of Leicester; the casket will be viewable inside the cathedral until March 26, after which the remains will be reburied.

AP Photo by Rui Vieira