Rival petition usurps bid to bring Richard III’s remains to Yorkshire

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CAMPAIGNERS have claimed they are mounting a “compelling case” to bring Richard III’s remains to Yorkshire despite a groundswell of support for a rival bid to bury the monarch’s skeleton in Leicester.

A petition to re-inter the remains in the East Midlands city closed on Saturday after collecting 34,300 signatures – 3,000 more than a rival petition calling for Richard to be buried in York Minster.

But descendants from the Plantagenet Alliance, who have launched a High Court challenge to the decision by the Ministry of Justice and the University of Leicester to push ahead with the burial in Leicester Cathedral, believe they still have a strong case for the re-interment in Yorkshire. Their campaign has gleaned support from the king’s descendants as far afield as the United States, South Africa and Australia. Two US descendants are set to travel to the UK for a judicial review hearing in London’s High Court on November 26.

Stephen Nicolay, a 16th great-nephew of the king and a member of the Plantagenet Alliance, said: “Both petitions show there is significant public interest in the debate. We believe we still have a compelling case for his remains to be brought to Yorkshire.”

It was confirmed in February that the remains, discovered under a council car park in Leicester, had been proven “beyond reasonable doubt” to be those of the king following DNA tests.

Richard, who grew up at Middleham Castle in the Yorkshire Dales and regularly visited York during his 26-month reign, died in the Battle of Bosworth in Leicestershire in 1485, effectively ending the Wars of the Roses.