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Richard III’s Relatives Threaten to Sue If His Exhumed Remains Aren’t Buried in York

Wherever Richard III winds up, the tourist buses will likely follow

In February, scientists announced that a pile of bones they found under a parking lot in Leicester belong to Richard III, the former king of England who ruled for just two years, from 1483 until his death on the battlefield in 1485.

Now, his relatives want his body back.

As the Guardian reports, fifteen distant relatives are threatening to sue unless their kingly ancestor’s remains are returned for a reburial in York. Before he became king, Richard III went by Richard of York, where he grew up.

Although the last English king to die in battle perished almost 500 years before the European convention on human rights came into force, his distant relatives are claiming they were not consulted and that their rights have been breached.

An application for judicial review is to be lodged by lawyers in Leeds on behalf of the Plantagenet Alliance. They are bringing the action against the Ministry of Justice, which granted the archaeological excavation licence to Leicester University.

As the Guardian points out, wherever Richard III winds up, the tourist buses will likely follow, which translates into economic incentives for locals. Others from the Richard III Society prefer the monarch to remain in Leicester and have already begun discussions about his memorial site. 

The York family members are evoking article 8 of the European convention, which the Guardian explains deals with human rights, specifically with regards to family. Richard III has no known direct relatives, and anyone living today with relation to the former king is a descendant of his siblings.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Scientists Think They’ve Found Richard III’s Body Under a Parking Lot 
The Battle Over Richard III’s Bones and His Reputation 

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