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The “Kings Arms” was not the first public house I visited in York that cold November evening back in 2010, but I obviously wasn’t so merry that I didn’t notice this portrait of King Richard III hanging over me; inspired by one of my favourite painting from the National Portrait Gallery in London, by Anon. To quote from the Gallery’s website, “This portrait, in which he appears to be placing a ring on the little finger of his right hand, has been seen by some as evidence of his cruel nature and by others as evidence of his humanity”, so you can read into it what you like!

As well the portrait the pub also displays the Arms of Richard III, which include his personal heraldic device, the white boar, flanking the Plantagenet coat-of-arms. A certain on-line encyclopaedia informs me that a complete boar in heraldry, as opposed to just the head, might represent the courage and fierceness the boar displays, but I haven’t had much experience of boars in the wild [or in captivity, for that matter]. The Richard III Society, which promotes research into King Richard III related matters, still uses the white boar on some of its heraldic devices and logos.