Designs for tomb of Richard III unveiled as supporters to launch £30,000 appeal

DESIGNS for the tomb of Richard III have been unveiled as supporters of his burial in Leicester claim they are “sympathetic” to wishes to have the monarch’s skeleton brought to Yorkshire.

The remains are set to be buried in the East Midlands city despite a high-profile campaign which has attracted the support of MPs, leading councillors, academics and tourism chiefs to ensure Richard’s last resting place is in York Minster.

An online petition had collected nearly 20,000 signatures last night calling for the skeleton to be re-interred in the Minster, which is where Richard himself is reputedly wished to have been buried.

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Members of the Richard III Society, which is funding the tomb, said yesterday they understood the calls for the burial to be in Yorkshire, but stressed the remains will be re-interred in Leicester Cathedral next year, near where the skeleton was uncovered under a council car park.

A spokesman said: “The society places on record that it fully and sympathetically recognises the views of those who would have preferred King Richard III to be laid to rest elsewhere.”

The 7ft-long tomb is expected to be made of magnesian limestone – the same stone from which York Minster is constructed. The £30,000 cost will be met by the society via an appeal for donations.

The remains, one of the most dramatic archaeological finds in recent history, were last week confirmed “beyond reasonable doubt” to be 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 battle in 1485, ending the Wars of the Roses.

York Minster has, however, distanced itself from the campaign to bring the remains to Yorkshire, pointing out that Leicester should be the final resting place under the terms of a licence granted for the exhumation.