03/22/2015 11:12 EDT | Updated 05/22/2015 05:59 EDT

King Richard III honoured ahead of reburial at Leicester Cathedral

Dignitaries and descendants paid tribute today to King Richard III, whose remains were discovered more than 500 years after his death in a 15th-century battle.

The king's remains were transferred in a procession from the University of Leicester in central England on Sunday to Leicester Cathedral, where he will lie in state until Thursday's reinterment ceremony.

Richard's skeletal remains were found in an old friary beneath a parking lot in 2012 during excavation work.

Archeologist Richard Buckley, who coordinated the dig in Leicester, placed a white rose on Richard III's coffin during the ceremony at the university — as did others, including Canadian-born Michael Ibsen, a descendant of the king. 

Ibsen, Richard's 17th great grand-nephew, provided DNA in saliva to help pathologists identify the remains. He also crafted the oak coffin, seen by the public for the first time during Sunday.

King Richard III is believed to have died at age 32 of wounds to the skull at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

He was the last British monarch to die in battle. William Shakespeare immortalized him as a villainous hunchback.