I am currently glued to BBC News 24 watching the University of Leicester press conference where it will be announced whether or not the bones dug up in a Leicester car park are those of Richard the Third, King of England, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth.
The battle was won of course by Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII, father of Henry VIII and everyone knows who he is, thanks to David Starkey, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and six unfortunate wives.
I am not one to criticise any interest in history at all. I was one of the rare pupils at my school who loved history. I love castles, and ruins, and churches, and portraits. And I never understood why anyone didn't like it. What's the point, some might say. The point is that history makes us what we are as a nation. It is the foundation of our society. The laws we live by, the religions we may follow, our language, our morals, even the food we eat, all have their place in history. Studying history teaches us how to read and read critically, how to write, present an arguement based on evidence.
And more importantly than all that, history is interesting. There is something in it for everyone. You are a sciency person? Lots of science in history. Music? Foody? Politics? Fashion? It's all there. How we got to where we are, is all there in history.
And now history is making the headlines. Do these bones belong to Richard III? I don't know yet. But I do know that a lot more people know a lot more about him since the discovery was made in September. I also know that it will have grabbed the interest of hundreds of school children, who may now suddenly see the point in history. Adults who may have hated history at school can now go back to it with a fresh eye if they so wish. This will give them some starting points.
All that from a very old pile of bones, buried in perhaps the dullest of dull places, under a car park. A set of bones like so many others, but the potential that these bones could be royal have us all hooked. Does it matter in the scheme of things? Possibly not. Richard III will not come back and sort out the economy (though he might have a positive effect on that of Leicester). He will not give Chris Huhne a bollocking for lying about speeding tickets and distracting BBC News 24 from this fascinating press conference. And I'm sure that his last thoughts when he was fighting for his crown and his life were not , oh well, maybe one day they'll find my body in a very uninspiring place, but that's OK because I'll inspire loads of people to celebrate English culture.
So no, in the scheme of things it possibly doesn't matter. But for those of us who like history, it's like several Christmases at once. And for others it is a brilliant introduction to our incredible history. And that is why it matters.
UPDATE: they are his bones.