Dame Judi backs Richard III campaign

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DAME Judi Dench has backed campaigners calling for the remains of Richard III to be buried in her home city of York.

A group of relatives of the medieval monarch were recently granted the right to launch judicial review proceedings against opponents who wish to bury his skeleton in Leicester, where it was unearthed under a council car park last year.

So far over 29,000 people have signed an online petition calling for his remains to be reinterned in York and the actress has sent a message of support.

Sue Jennings, personal assistant to Dame Judi, said in a message to campaigners: “Dame Judi Dench has asked me to thank you for your message and to say that she would be very pleased to add her name to your petition to have Richard III’s remains buried at York Minster.”

Descendants of King Richard III have won the right to a High Court challenge over plans for his reinterment.

The Plantagenet Alliance, which includes 15 of the king’s distant relatives, believe he should be buried at York Minster.

Richard III, who grew up in Yorkshire and was the last king of the House of York, was killed at the battle of Bosworth in 1485.

His body was hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars in Leicester, which was later lost during redevelopment.

His remains were dug up from Greyfriars car park by archaeologists from the University of Leicester last September and confirmed as his by a team of experts from the institution in February.

The licence to carry out the excavation, granted by the Ministry of Justice, gave the university the authority to decide where to rebury the king, who is now set to be laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral.

Granting permission for a hearing later in the year, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said: “In my judgment, it is plainly arguable that there was a duty at common law to consult widely as to how and where Richard III’s remains should appropriately be re-interred.”