Distant relatives of King Richard III will have to wait to learn whether they have won their High Court battle with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling over where the monarch’s remains should be reburied.
In an unprecedented legal battle, relatives who make up the Plantagenet Alliance asked three judges to rule Mr Grayling is under a legal duty to set up wide-ranging public talks to decide the issue. Their counsel, Gerard Clarke, argued the Queen and royal household should be at the top of the list of consultees, and it should include the distant relatives themselves as well as general members of the public.
Mr Clarke said the issue was important as the last English king to die in battle “is not just any old bones”.
Government QC, James Eadie, told the court Mr Grayling was “under no statutory or common law duty to consult”.
Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, said the court would take time to consider its judgment and told the parties: “We shall let you know our decision as soon as possible.”
The king’s remains were discovered under a council car park in Leicester and the current plan is for them to be reinterred at the city’s cathedral.
The Plantagenet Alliance want the remains to be buried at York Minster, claiming it was the wish “of the last medieval king of England”, who was known as Richard of York.
The Yorkshire Post is supporting calls for the king’s remains to be returned to the county.
Mr Clarke said in a two-day hearing the alliance would be satisfied with a wide-ranging public consultation on where the king’s final resting place should be.
Earlier, Anya Proops, appearing for the university, called for an end to the “undignified squabble” over Richard III’s reburial and told the hearing the remains should reburied in Leicester Cathedral, close to where they had been found.