By Noah Rayman
March 26, 2015

Was ever a crowd in this humor wooed?

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch read a poem Thursday to the somber group that gathered for the reburial of King Richard III.

The poem was written by British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy to commemorate the event in honor of the last British King to die in battle, whose remains were rediscovered beneath a parking lot in 2012. King Richard III was given a ceremonious burial more than 500 years after he fell fighting Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth.

Cumberbatch, who is a distant cousin of Richard III, is set to play the monarch in BBC’s The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses set for next year.

Read next: 7 Things We Learned About Benedict Cumberbatch Today

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Write to Noah Rayman at noah.rayman@time.com.

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