Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby has welcomed the judicial review into the final resting place of King Richard III.
He says he's confident the outcome will be a 'sensible one', as the monarch's skeleton has been buried in the city for more than 500 years after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in Leicestershire.
Following the decision to allow a judicial review into the reburying of Richard III's remains at Leicester Cathedral, Leicestershire County Council issued the following statement.
– Richard Blunt, Leicestershire County Council's cabinet member for heritage, leisure and arts
"Richard III died at the battle of Bosworth and was taken to Leicester to be buried. These are compelling reasons why his remains should be interred at Leicester Cathedral. "I hope that the court comes, swiftly, to the same conclusion, so that the county and city councils and the Cathedral can progress their plans to commemorate his life, next year."
The University of Leicester has issued the following list of reasons why it believes King Richard III should be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral.
- The plan for reinterment in Leicester Cathedral was clearly stated and unambiguous at the start of the project and announced in a statement on Friday 24 August 2012. This was before the dig started.
- Reinterment on the nearest consecrated ground is in keeping with good archaeological practice. Richard has lain in the shadow of St Martin’s Cathedral, Leicester, for over 500 years.
- The landowner (Leicester City Council) gave permission for the excavation of the Greyfriars site on this basis. Had the plan been to reinter Richard other than in Leicester, permission would not have been granted for the search.
The University of Leicester has issued the following statement after the successful appeal by campaigners fighting to get Richard III's remains reinterred in York instead of Leicester.
The University is currently digesting the content of the judgment, which raises a number of important and complex issues.
The University continues to take the view that the claim is without merit and that this is the conclusion which the court is likely to reach once it has had the benefit of hearing detailed evidence and legal argument during the course of the judicial review.
That said, the University notes that court does not suggest that the University itself has acted unlawfully by failing to conduct a consultation exercise in connection with the issue of re-interment.
Indeed, the judgment makes clear that it would not have been appropriate for the University itself to have embarked on such an exercise.
The University maintains 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 and where they were finally discovered as a result of what the court described as 'the inspired, determined and meticulous work' of the University and members of the Richard III Society.
The University will now liaise with the Ministry of Justice with a view to ascertaining how it wishes to proceed.
High Court judge, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave, has urged campaigners to avoid War of the Roses Part 2, after he gave a group of relatives of King Richard III permission to bring High Court proceedings to challenge Leicester reburial plans for the last Plantagenet king.
"t is ironic that the Wars of the Roses appear to be returning whence they started - the Temple. Legend has it that John Beaufort and Richard Plantagenet picked the symbolic red and white roses in Inner and Middle Temple gardens...
I would, however, urge the parties to avoid embarking on the (legal) Wars of the Roses Part 2. In my view, it would be unseemly, undignified and unedifying to have a legal tussle over these royal remains.
This would not be appropriate, or in the country's interests. The discovery of Richard III's remains engages interests beyond those of the immediate parties, and touches on sovereign, state and church.
– Mr Justice Haddon-Cave
For these reasons, I would strongly recommend that parties immediately consider referring the fundamental question - as to where and how Richard III is reburied - to an independent advisory panel made up of suitable experts and Privy Councillors, who can consult and receive representations from all interested parties and make suitable recommendations with reasonable speed.
The University of Leicester is today holding a Richard III Open Day. Experts who discovered the Kings remains will be in attendance to share experiences of their findings.
Two of the departments behind the search for Richard III - the Department of Genetics and School of Archaeology and Ancient History - will also be open to the public.
Earlier this month, designs for a new Richard III visitor centre were unveiled.
Designs for the new King Richard III visitor centre in the heart of Leicester's Old Town has been revealed.
"Richard III: Dynasty, Death and Discovery" will guide visitors through the dramatic story of the King's life and his rediscovery in a car park in the city.
The centre will open in March 2014, in the former Leicester Grammar School building at St Martin's Place. It is likely to attract 10,000 visitors per year and bring in over £4.5million pounds to the city's economy in the first year.
External designs for a Richard III visitor attraction will be unveiled in Leicester's Guildhall later today by the city's Mayor, Peter Soulsby.
The centre, which will be located in the former Alderman Newton's Grammar School on St Martin's Place, Leicester, is expected to open next spring. The King's remains were discovered in a car park in Leicester last year.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd Justin Welby, has today visited the car park in Leicester where the remains of King Richard III were dug up in September last year.
The Archbishop was joined by the Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, and the Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stevens.