THE remains found underneath a car park in Leicester have been confirmed as that of Yorkist King Richard III – but he will not be returning to the city.

Following a long wait it was announced the remains of a man buried on the site in Leicester were those of the last Plantagenet king.

After extensive tests, Richard Buckley, dig project leader, said: “It is the academic conclusion that beyond reasonable doubt, the individual exhumed at Grey Friars in September 2011 is King Richard III.”

But despite an online petition called Richard III: Come Home To York launched by The Richard III Foundation, advocating the reburial of the remains in York, it looks likely they will be interred in Leicester.

Sir Peter Soulsby, mayor of Leicester, said moves were under way for the remains to be interred in the city’s cathedral next year, stating: “The body will be reinterred in the cathedral, in whose shadow his remains have lain for 500 years.”

Canon Chancellor David Mantieth, of Leicester Cathedral, said the announcement was a “momentous day” and the king’s body once re-interred would “rest in peace and rise in glory”.

Local expert Mike Bennett, custodian of the Richard III Museum in Monkgate Bar, York, said: “I always knew the body wouldn’t be coming back to York.

“We petitioned for so long but there were not enough signatures to make a difference.

“Leicester cathedral is relatively new. It’s a shame for York and a shame for Richard himself.”

After suffering at least two fatal head wounds, tests on his skull and body showed evidence he was brutally hacked, presumably by the victors, after falling and dying on the battlefield in 1485.

Fact file

• Richard, born in 1452, was raised and trained at Middleham and Sheriff Hutton Castles

• After the death of Edward IV in 1483, Richard was made Lord Protector and later king

• He was killed on August 22 at the Battle of Bosworth Field in Leicestershire by Lancastrian forces led by Henry Tudor