York burial for Richard III: 'It's what he would have wanted'
Burial wrangle ... the skeletal remains confirmed as those of Richard III this month. Photo: Getty Images
LONDON: The descendants of King Richard III have demanded that his remains be 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.
We believe that such an interment was the desire of King Richard in life.
The remains are due to be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral next year despite campaigns to bring them to York.
The earliest surviving portrait of Richard III.
On Monday, nine of Richard III's descendants said they believed the king, the last monarch from 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."
City leaders in York said this month they would write to the Queen and the Ministry of Justice in a bid to get Richard III's remains returned to his "spiritual home".
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 funded part of the city's medieval gated walls.
The monarch's links with the area are still celebrated, 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 Richard to be reinterred at York has been signed by more than 23,000 people.
But the Ministry of Justice said it was the University of Leicester's decision to make as it had been granted permission to exhume the monarch's body.
Plans are being made for the reinterment at Leicester Cathedral next year and architects will be commissioned next month to design the king's tomb.
The statement from the descendants was signed by Charles Brunner, Jacob Tyler and Eleanor and Charlotte Lupton, Richard's 17th great-nephews and nieces; Stephen Nicolay, Paul Tyler and Vanessa and Linda Roe, the monarch's 16th great-nephews and nieces; and Raymond Roe, the 15th great-nephew of the king.