London police horses to lead Richard III's cortege

A painting of King Richard III Credit: ITN

Final preparations are underway for the reburial of Richard III tomorrow, more than 500 years after his death.

And despite his traditional associations with Leicester, a sight familiar to many Londoners will accompany the king's body to its last resting place.

Four officers from the mounted unit of the City of London police will lead the cortege carrying the mortal remains of King Richard III on his last journey through the city of Leicester from St Nicholas Church to the Cathedral.

Chief Inspector Steve Potter from Leicestershire Police, who is in charge of policing the event, said: “We don’t have a mounted section here in Leicestershire so we approached the mounted branch of the City of London Police who are very experienced in policing major ceremonial events such as Trooping the Colour and the Lord Mayor’s Show.

"They will provide a highly visible policing presence which will reflect the dignity and tone of the event and play a major role in preventing crime and reassuring people in the crowd. I am delighted they are able to join us for this historic occasion.”

The last of the Plantagenet kings, Richard III will be escorted by PS Jesse Wynne, on Lionheart and PC Jacqui Sharrad on Ariel with PC Clive Wilkinson on Temple and PC Kim Ashton on Bowron. The officers will be in their tunics with black gloves, medals and aiguillettes and the horses will be in full ceremonial regalia.

The reburial of King Richard III will begin at 11am at the University of Leicester when a hearse transporting his coffin will journey from Leicester University, stopping at places which are historically significant such as Dadlington, Sutton Cheney and the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre where Richard lost his life in the Battle of Bosworth – the last battle of the Wars of the Roses. Henry Tudor then became King of England.

Once the cortege gets to the outskirts of the city centre, King Richard’s coffin will be transferred onto a horse drawn hearse outside St Nicholas Church on St Nicholas Circle. The coffin will then be escorted by the four mounted City of London Police officers and knights on horseback through the city centre to the clock tower, arriving at Leicester Cathedral at 5.45pm for the reburial service.

The City of London Police horses are a familiar sight around the streets of the Square Mile and no strangers to prestigious occasions, having helped to police the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in 2012, as well as The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.