King Richard III burial row heads to High Court

Richard III The king's remains were found in a car park near Leicester Cathederal

Distant relatives of Richard III have started legal proceedings to challenge the plan to bury the king's remains in Leicester.

Lawyers have lodged papers in the High Court seeking a judicial review of the decision made by the Ministry of Justice.

Many of his relatives want the body buried in York, claiming it was King Richard's wish.

Leicester's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, has described the case as "daft".

Earlier this year, skeletal remains found beneath a car park in the city were confirmed as the king's by a team at the University of Leicester.

The licence to carry out the dig, issued by the Ministry of Justice, gave the authority to decide where to rebury the king to the university.

'Plainly daft'

However, the Plantagenet Alliance, which includes 15 of Richard III's relatives, want the licence to be overturned and the king to be laid to rest in York Minster.

One of these, Vanessa Roe, said she supported the legal action.

"It was his wish," she said.

"It is well documented throughout the centuries that he wanted his remains to be buried in York, amongst his family.

"There was a chancery being built which was going to have 100 chaplains there and his family was going to be buried in York itself, rather than Westminster, which is quite unusual for the time.

"So it shows you how much he loved the city."

Speaking last week, Leicester's mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: "I have no doubt at all that the High Court will treat this particular case as being something that is plainly daft.

"After 500 years in the shadow of this cathedral in accordance with the licence the bones should be, and will be, re-interred within the cathedral."

Richard was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 and was hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars in Leicester, which was subsequently lost during redevelopment.

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