My favourite news story of the past five days has surely been that of the confirmation through DNA testing that the remains unearthed in a Leicester carpark are indeed those of Richard III.
This story appeals to my fascination with archaeology and tangible clues about our history. I get the shivers imagining that the skull and the bones discovered once carried the almost mythical character of one of our most famous kings.
But the aspect of the story I have most enjoyed has been that of Philippa Langley, secretary of the Scottish branch of the Richard III Society and the woman whose knowledge of the last Plantagenet brought her to the site of King Richard’s final resting place. It was however her intuition, as she stood in the carpark, which compelled her to organise the dig. She describes getting goosebumps and chills on a boiling hot day, and even asserts that the former monarch was somehow calling to her.
As a result, the archaeological dig that was scheduled to last weeks made its discovery in days. And Philippa, who is writing a screenplay about the “real” Richard III, having read a gripping biography of him, finally got to meet her king.
To me this is testament to the power of words, read and written, to heighten our intuitive attributes, and, what’s more, give us the courage to act on them. Three cheers for the king. Three cheers for the intuitive hit that has restored him to us.