RELATIVES of Richard III have lost their High Court battle with Justice Secretary Chris Grayling over where the monarch's remains should be reburied.

Three High Court judges have today ruled in favour of the Justice Secretary saying campaigners and distant relatives of the king cannot have a public consultation on his burial place.

They said it was "time for King Richard III to be given a dignified reburial, and finally laid to rest" and rejected the Plantagenet Alliance's claims there should be a wide-ranging public consultation to decide the king's final resting place.

Vanessa Roe, a Plantagenet Alliance member and 16th great niece of Richard said she was frustrated and disappointed at the news.

"We are very disappointed with the result, in our opinion it's not the right one.

"It's frustrating, because we want justice for Richard and for York. It's more disappointing for him than anyone else."

Ms Roe also dubbed Justice Secretary Chris Grayling "ungracious" after he said the Plantagenet Alliance had only "tenuous claims to being relatives of Richard III", and criticised them for wasting tax payers money by bringing the legal challenge.

She said the Alliance would consider their options before deciding whether to take more action, and the group's lawyer Matthew Howarth said an appeal was now under consideration.

Mr Howarth said: "We obviously respect and accept today's verdict, and are grateful to have had the opportunity to raise this matter before the courts, but are naturally disappointed at the decision, which we regard as highly regrettable."

York MPs Julian Sturdy and Hugh Bayley have also spoken of their disappointed at the news.

Mr Sturdy slammed the decision, saying the original exhumation licence amounted to nothing more than "a ‘finders keepers’ agreement concocted behind closed doors."

He added: “It is immensely frustrating that despite the unprecedented discovery of such a historically, politically and culturally significant monarch, the Ministry of Justice still refuses to listen to the public on such an important issue.

"Over 60,000 people have signed petitions on where they think the reburial should take place and such strong public feeling should not be ignored. Many of my own constituents believe they have been cheated out of the democratic and open debate that should have taken place over such an important chapter in our heritage.

“It is only right and proper that King Richard should return to his home city of York, even if on a temporary basis, after spending the last 500 years under a car park in Leicester. The people of Yorkshire deserve the chance to pay their final respects to the last Yorkist King, whose death brought about the end of one of the most brutal conflicts in our history.”

But York's council and Minster, and the University of York, have said only that they are pleased clarity has been brought to the process.

In a joint statement, the three bodies said they looked forward to working with Leicester to tell Richard III's story, and his links to York and Yorkshire.

The Plantagenet Alliance launched the legal challenge in March, but waited nine and a half weeks for a result.

They argued a public consultation should be held over his reburial, and the Ministry of Justice's original exhumation licence, which said the remains should be re-interred in Leicester, overturned.

Today Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Ouseley and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, ruled there were no public law grounds for interfering with the plans for reburial at Leicester Cathedral.

The three judges said in a joint ruling: "Since Richard III's exhumation on 5th September 2012, passions have been roused and much ink has been spilt.

"Issues relating to his life and death and place of re-interment have been exhaustively examined and debated.

"The Very Reverend David Monteith, the Dean of Leicester Cathedral, has explained the considerable efforts and expenditure invested by the cathedral in order to create a lasting burial place "as befits an anointed King".

"We agree that it is time for Richard III to be given a dignified reburial, and finally laid to rest."