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Newly found skeleton of Richard III creates winter of discontent for 2 cities vying to claim bones

Posted Feb 7, 2013 4:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Richard III. Image from Shutterstock.

Slain more than 500 years ago on a British battlefield, King Richard III was recently determined to have been unceremoniously buried in nearby Leicester without a coffin.

Now that his bones have been identified after being excavated from beneath a parking lot, two cities are vying to claim possession of his remains, the Associated Press reports.

Although Leicester officials say all the arrangements have been made to re-inter the former monarch regally in the city's cathedral, opponents argue that this was virtually foreign territory for Richard III, who is still a household name largely due to being portrayed as a villain by a Shakespeare play.

Better that he should be laid to rest in York, many observers say, where he was considered a local king. The York City Council is petitioning the government and Queen Elizabeth II, seeking their support for a plan that would bring the remains of Richard III there.

"Leicester was a very big stronghold of the house of Lancaster, Richard's rivals for the throne," said Michael Ormrod, a medieval history professor at the University of York. "He was buried almost in enemy territory in Leicester."

Related coverage:

CNN: "Richard III: Is this the face that launched 1,000 myths?"

Guardian: "Richard III: DNA confirms twisted bones belong to king"

New York Times (reg. req.): "Bones Under Parking Lot Belonged to Richard III"

Wall Street Journal (sub. req.): "Remains Confirmed as King Richard III's"

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