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Battle of the Roses Part 2: What to Do with King Richard III Rediscovered Body?
When a bit of history is unearthed from under a parking lot, it isn’t always clear what to do about it. The bodily remains of England’s King Richard III were discovered last year in Leicester; the government and the University of Leicester think Leicester would be a great place to give the deposed and reviled monarch, who was the last king in England to die in battle, and who also suffered a villainous reputation under Shakespeare’s play, “Richard III” – some say unfairly – a final resting home, and that he should be buried in a regal tourist location in Leicester. But Judge Charles Haddon-Cave, a British High Court Judge, gave the Plantagenet Alliance, or the living relatives of the deceased king, the right to take action against the government and the University of Leicester, though he wished them to settle the dispute out of court.
“In my view, it would be unseemly, undignified and unedifying to have a legal tussle over these royal remains,” the judge said, urging the opposing sides “to avoid embarking on the (legal) Wars of the Roses Part 2.”
The Plantagenet dynasty had two branches, one at the House of York, and this was involved in the 15th century battle for the crown known as the Wars of the Roses. The Plantagenet Alliance surmises that Richard would have wished to be buried in England’s northern City of York. Haddon-Cave admits his ruling could lead to “intense, widespread and legitimate public interest and concern in many quarters as to the treatment and final resting place of Richard III’s remains.”
The University of Leicester, whose scientists identified the king through DNA tests, bone analysis, and other forensic tests, are of the opinion that it is “entirely proper and fitting that the remains of Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, be buried in the magnificent holy setting of Leicester Cathedral, near where his remains had lain for centuries.”
Leicester is building a 4 million-pound ($6.3 million) visitor center near where the king’s corpse was found.