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'Richard III' Bones To Be Buried At Leicester Cathedral If Archaeologists Proved Correct

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If the bones found beneath a Leicestershire car park belong to King Richard III they will be buried in the city's cathedral, the government has confirmed.

Despite being a Yorkist king, (as enshrined in the popular rainbow mnemonic 'Richard of York Gave Battle In Vain) the skeleton's final resting place will be in Leicester cathedral. A somewhat diluted version of the war of the roses had broken out over where the bones should be interred with Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South, calling for the burial in Leicester to boost tourism.

However Joe Ann Ricca, founder and chief executive of The Richard III Foundation, told the BBC burying Richard in Leicester amounted to a "monstrous act," especially "when you know that the former king of England had expressed the desire and a wish to be buried at York Minster."

Archaeologists are currently DNA testing the bones found to confirm they belong to the king. The exhumation of the skeleton from under the council car park was made even more exciting by the discovery of a metal arrow in its back, trauma to the head and a slight curvature of the spine.

richard iii

Recently uncovered remains in Leicester could be those of Richard III

This in part fits with popular legend, which claimed the king died at Battle of Bosworth after being knocked from his horse.

He was portrayed in Shakespeare's play as a tyrannical hunchback with a withered arm, notorious for being the suspected murderer of his two nephews in the Tower of London whose deaths enabled him to accede the throne.

Historical records show Richard was buried in a Franciscan friary in Leicester. But his grave location was forgotten during Henry VIII's attempt to purge the country of Catholics, which led to monasteries, included the Franciscan friary, being dissolved and destroyed.

leicester cathedral

Ashworth says the king's rightful resting place should be Leicester Cathedral

The excavation was the first ever attempt to find the lost grave of an anointed King of England.

But it is not the first time a royal is thought to have had a rather ignoble resting place. In 2006, experts believed Queen Boudicca, who led East Anglia's Iceni tribe to battle against the Romans, was buried next to McDonalds in Birmingham.

The claim was soon dismissed by archaeologists who said there was "no evidence".

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