King's descendants seek York burial

The living descendants of King Richard III have demanded that his remains are reburied in York.

The monarch's 500-year-old skeleton was identified earlier this month after it was uncovered during an archaeological dig at a council car park in Leicester last year.

The remains are due to be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral next year despite campaigns to bring them to York. Nine of Richard III's descendants said they believed the king, the last monarch of the House of York, would have wanted to be buried in the northern city.

They said in a statement: "We, the under-named, do hereby most respectfully demand that the remains of King Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England and our mutual ancestor, be returned to the city of York for formal, ceremonial reburial.

"We believe that such an interment was the desire of King Richard in life and we have written this statement so that his wishes may be fully recognised and upheld. King Richard III was the last King of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty which had ruled England since the succession of King Henry II in 1154."

They continued: "We, the under-named blood descendants, unreservedly believe that King Richard is deserving of great recognition and respect and hereby agree to dutifully uphold his memory. With due humility and affection, we are and will remain his Majesty's representatives and voice."

Earlier this month, city leaders in York said they were to write to the Queen and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in a bid to get Richard III's remains returned to his "spiritual home".

King Richard grew up at Middleham Castle in the Yorkshire Dales and visited York several times during his 26-month reign. Known as Richard of York before his coronation, he also funded part of the city's medieval gated walls.

The monarch's links with the area are celebrated to this day, with a Richard III Hotel in Middleham, a Yorkshire-made Richard III Wensleydale cheese and a Richard III Museum in York. A petition calling for King Richard to be re-interred at York has been signed by more than 23,000 people.

But the MoJ said it was the University of Leicester's decision to make as they had been granted permission to exhume the monarch's body.

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