Compromise deal could see Richard III lie in state at York Minster

Richard III could lie in state at York Minster
Richard III could lie in state at York Minster
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The remains of King Richard III could lie in state in York Minster later this year under a compromise deal over his final resting place between local campaigners and the academics who discovered his bones.

York MPs still plan to meet with Leicester University representatives in the coming weeks to make the case for bringing the King back to his favoured county for burial in Yorkshire, but have also reacted favourably to a possible compromise should they fail.

The deal could see the last Yorkist King of England lie in state for a short period at the Minster to allow the public to come and pay their final respects, before he is returned to Leicester to be buried.

The remains of Richard III, who was slain at the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, were discovered in a car park in Leicester last month.

The university team which carried out the excavation plans to bury him at Leicester University. But a rival campaign wants to bring Richard back to his chosen resting place of York Minster.

The debate took a nasty turn this week when it emerged the Dean of York, the Very Rev Vivienne Faull, had to call the police after receiving abusive letters from people objecting to her stance on the issue.

The possible compromise has been hatched by a “neutral” MP, Chris Skidmore, who is a member of the Richard III society which helped fund the excavation.

“I am interested in an independent solution,” Mr Skidmore told MPs. “Consider my compromise, whereby even if Richard is buried in Leicester, his body might lie in state at York for a week.”

York Central MP Hugh Bayley, said it was “too early” to make a deal ahead of his crunch talks with Leicester University, but said: “It is a constructive idea.

“We should look at ways to 
bring together people from York and Leicester, rather than set them against each other,” he added.