The King of England was struck with great astonishment, and wondered what [this alliance] could mean, and, taking precautions for the future, frequently sent messengers into France for the purpose of recalling his son Richard; who, pretending that he was peaceably inclined and ready to come to his father, made his way to Chinon, and, in spite of the person who had the custody thereof, carried off the greater part of his father's treasures, and fortified his castles in Poitou with the same, refusing to go to his father.
The rapid conquest of the island by Richard is more important than it may seem. The island occupies a key strategic position on the maritime lanes to the Holy Land, whose occupation by the Christians could not continue without support from the sea. Cyprus remained a Christian stronghold until the battle of Lepanto (1571). Richard's exploit was well publicised and contributed to his reputation, and he also derived significant financial gains from the conquest of the island. Richard left Cyprus for Acre on 5 June with his allies.
Richard appears in many other fictional accounts of the Third Crusade and its sequel, for Example Graham Shelby's The Kings of Vain Intent and The Devil is Loose. Richard is a major character in Norah Lofts' novel The Lute Player, in Martha Rofheart's Lionheart!: A Novel of Richard I, King of England, in Cecelia Holland's The King's Witch, Gore Vidal's A Search For the King and in Sharon Kay Penman's The Devil's Brood and Lionheart. He also appears in three of Angus Donald's Outlaw Chronicles series of novels based on the legend of Robin Hood. Richard was played by Henry Wilcoxon in Cecil B. DeMille's 1935 epic, The Crusades, by Ian Hunter in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), by George Sanders in King Richard and the Crusaders (1954), by Dermot Walsh in the Richard the Lionheart (1962–1963), by Julian Glover in Doctor Who – The Crusade (1965) and Ivanhoe (1982), by Richard Harris in Robin and Marian (1976) and by Sean Connery in the climax of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). Connery's appearance as Richard was parodied by Patrick Stewart in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Ridley Scott's 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven portrays Richard (played by Iain Glen) in a minor role. At the end of the film, he was seen riding along with his army for Jerusalem, after Saladin took it. In Ridley Scott's Robin Hood (2010), actor Danny Huston portrayed Richard, depicting the king's death as during the siege of Chalus Castle. In the 2013 film Richard The Lionheart, actor Chandler Maness portrayed Richard as a young and petulant Prince. In the sequel, Richard the Lionheart: Rebellion, Maness reprises his role as Richard, to lead a rebellion against his father.
In the historiography of the second half of the 20th century much interest was shown in Richard's sexuality, in particular whether there was cogent evidence of homosexuality. The topic had not been raised by Victorian or Edwardian historians, a fact which was itself denounced as a "conspiracy of silence" by John Harvey (1948). The argument primarily drew on accounts of Richard's behaviour, as well as of his confessions and penitences, and of his childless marriage. Richard did have at least one illegitimate child (Philip of Cognac), and there are reports on his sexual relations with local women during his campaigns. Historians remain divided on the question of Richard's sexuality. Harvey argued in favour of his homosexuality but has been disputed by other historians, most notably John Gillingham (1994), who argues that Richard was probably heterosexual. Flori (1999) again argued in favour of Richard's homosexuality, based on Richard's two public confessions and penitences (in 1191 and 1195) which, according to Flori, "must have" referred to the sin of sodomy. Flori, however, concedes that contemporary accounts of Richard taking women by force exist, concluding that he probably had sexual relations with both men and women. Flori and Gillingham nevertheless agree that accounts of bed-sharing do not support the suggestion that Richard had a sexual relationship with King Philip II, as had been suggested by other modern authors.
Richard is a major character in James Goldman's The Lion in Winter, which references the alleged homosexual affair between Richard and Philip II of France. Richard was played by Sir Anthony Hopkins in Anthony Harvey's The Lion in Winter and Andrew Howard in the 2003 remake directed by Andrei Konchalovsky, which starred Patrick Stewart as his father Henry II.
Richard's heart was buried at Rouen in Normandy, his entrails in Châlus (where he died), and the rest of his body at the feet of his father at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou. In 2012, Scientists analysed the remains of Richard's heart and found that it had been embalmed with various substances, including frankincense, a symbolically important substance because it had been present both at the birth and embalming of the Christ.
Around the middle of the 13th century, various legends developed that, after Richard's capture, his minstrel Blondel travelled Europe from castle to castle, loudly singing a song known only to the two of them (they had composed it together). Eventually, he came to the place where Richard was being held, and Richard heard the song and answered with the appropriate refrain, thus revealing where the king was incarcerated. The story was the basis of André Ernest Modeste Grétry's opera Richard Cœur-de-Lion and seems to be the inspiration for the opening to Richard Thorpe's film version of Ivanhoe. It seems unconnected to the real Jean 'Blondel' de Nesle, an aristocratic trouvère. It also does not correspond to the historical reality, since the king's jailers did not hide the fact; on the contrary, they publicised it.
At some time around the 16th century, tales of Robin Hood started to mention him as a contemporary and supporter of King Richard the Lionheart, Robin being driven to outlawry, during the misrule of Richard's evil brother John, while Richard was away at the Third Crusade.