Richard III: Dead king live tweets his final days

Final words — from the grave — in 140 characters or less

<p>The skull of Richard III is seen in this photograph provided by the University of Leicester and received in London on February 4, 2013. A skeleton with a cleaved skull and a curved spine entombed under a car park is that of Richard III, scientific tests confirmed, solving a 500-year-old mystery about the final resting place of the last English king to die in battle.  REUTERS/University of Leicester/Handout (EDUCATION SOCIETY ROYALS ENTERTAINMENT)    ATTENTION EDITORS &#8211; THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO COMMERCIAL OR BOOK SALES &#8211; RTR3DCCN</p>

The skull of Richard III (University of Leicester/Reuters)

While the remains of King Richard III are being viewed by thousands in Leicester Cathedral, the dead king is live tweeting his final days before being buried. Using the Twitter handle of @Richard_third, he describes himself as “former king of england, leicesterian, I’m gunna get you henry tudor, not the views of the current royal family. (they are imposters!), Last of the Plantagenets.”

The account popped up in September 2012, the month the king’s bones were exhumed from that famous parking lot in Leicester. And though he’d tweeted regularly in subsequent years, it went into overdrive on Sunday when the coffin was moved from the university to Bosworth Field, where he was killed, then finally to the cathedral.




And it’s not all about him. He’s aware that 530 years have passed since he was slain. So for those queuing for hours, he issued a series of recommendations, including a visit to the cathedral gift shop on the way out. (He’s partial to the hoodie.)

He’s even engaged in a Twitter war with Henry VIII, the son of the man who killed him. Apparently, there are no hard feelings, especially since Richard III is now more popular than the rotund Tudor.

Following dead people or deities is nothing new on Twitter. Everyone from Shakespeare (@Wmm_Shakespeare) to Socrates (@Socrrates) has an account. Towering above them all, metaphysically and in more practical ways, is God (@thetweetofgod), with more than 1.8 million followers. The self-proclaimed “dope-ass divinity, trollin’ with My trinity, droppin’ top tweets in your immediate vicinity, flingin’ fly phrases from the fringes of infinity” follows only one person: Justin Bieber.

This Richard III may be the hot one today, but he isn’t alone. Another Richard III account started big, but soon died (again).

As for the “current” Richard III, well, he has one goal (beyond being properly buried on Thursday).