Richard III campaigners face wait for burial decision
Updated 2:12pm Friday 14th March 2014 in News
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 recently-discovered remains should be reburied.
In an unprecedented legal battle, relatives who make up the Plantagenet Alliance asked three judges to rule that Mr Grayling is under a legal duty to set up a wide-ranging public consultation exercise to decide the question.
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."
Richard's battle-scarred bones were discovered under a council car park in Leicester and the current plan is for them to be reinterred at the city's cathedral.
Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 - ending the Wars of the Roses and the Plantagenet dynasty - and his body was taken to Leicester by supporters of the victorious Henry VII and buried in Greyfriars church, now the site of the council car park.
The Plantagenet Alliance want the remains to be buried at York Minster, claiming that was the wish "of the last medieval king of England", who was known as Richard of York.
Mr Clarke said in a two-day hearing the alliance would be satisfied with a wide-ranging public consultation exercise on where the king's final resting place should be.