Leicester Cathedral announced today that the "king in a car park" will be getting a new home on the World Wide Web.
The latest phase of the ongoing row between Leicester Cathedral and
the Plantagenet Alliance sees the cathedral in the city where his body
was found plant the flag for its claim at www.kingrichardinleicester.com.
The website will be a resource for fact and fiction surrounding
Richard lll. It includes a short video, information and stories about
the king, and an interview with Bishop Tim Stevens explaining why the
remains should stay in Leicester.
The launch of the website is timed to coincide with the latest news
on Richard III featuring in tonight's edition of BBC One's 'Inside Out'
in the East and West Midlands at 19:30 GMT.
The website will also include details of how the cathedral will be
organising the re-burial of the remains itself, providing all
appropriate permissions are given.
"The emphasis will be on a Christian treatment of the remains of a
Christian monarch, who had a burial 500 years ago and will now be laid
to a more fitting and abiding rest," said Leicester Cathedral in a
Bishop Stevens said: "The story of the king in a car park, now so
familiar around the world to many who had heard little of Richard III or
of Leicester, has become part of the life of our city and part of the
story of our nation.
"Now we look forward to welcoming people from around the world to
become part of our shared story. This new website presents Richard's
story clearly once again and begins the next chapter – our task of
laying the king to rest with dignity and honour."
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: "Many people have a view on where King
Richard lll should finally be laid to rest, and can speak about it with
great passion. What Leicester Cathedral has done is to set out the
plain facts with regard to King Richard's connection to Leicester, his
death, and his burial in the Greyfriars church.
"Whatever your views those facts are undisputed. We cannot rewrite
history. The cathedral has demonstrated very clearly why Leicester is
the right location for the final resting place of the last Plantagenet
King of England."
Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council says: "I
welcome the launch of Leicester Cathedral's website and video release
which spells out the factual case for Richard III's re-interment here in
Leicester. I'm sure the judicial review in March will reach the right
decision - we just have to wait for it."
The University of Leicester, who uncovered the remains, said: "The
University of Leicester discovered the mortal remains of the King
through the expertise of its archaeological work and subsequent
"We are of the opinion, and have put forward a convincing case, in
line with the terms of the licence, that the King who was buried in
Leicester over 500 years ago should remain in the city, and indeed in
the very parish, in which he was buried.
"It is important to remember there would have been no discovery at
all without a combination of factors that focussed on Leicester –
Philippa Langley's Looking for Richard initiative, the university's plan
for the dig and its expertise in the execution of the dig and
identification of the remains, and the fact that Leicester City Council
had granted permission for us to excavate their land.
"We continue to work in partnership with Leicester Cathedral and
Leicester City Council for a reinterment of King Richard III with
dignity and honour in Leicester."
But the controversy over the choice of Leicester for the burial site
has not gone away, with the king's distant relatives objecting to the
lack of consultation they have received on the matter of his burial
The king's 16th great niece, Vanessa Row of the Plantagenet Alliance,
said on BBC News: "Once someone becomes named it doesn't matter how old
they are - if they do have descendants they should be consulted on the
final resting place.
"They don't actually have a case to keep him there in my opinion. He
is basically buried somewhere he was murdered and left and forgotten."
Many others argue that as a Yorkist King, Richard III should be buried in York.
Verna Campbell, a member of the Richard III Society, said on BBC
News: "He was brought up in Middleham and he was at Middleham when he
heard his brother had died. Basically he made the north his own."
Middleham today is a market town approximately 140 miles north of Leicester, in North Yorkshire.
JoeAnn Ricca, the chief executive of the US-based Richard III
Foundation Inc, pointed out on the Guardian's 'The Northerner Blog':
"Although entitled to be buried at Westminster Abbey alongside other
kings and queens of England, he announced his intention to be buried at
York, and in 1483 set in motion plans for a new chantry chapel at York
"Indeed, so strongly was he linked to York that the city authorities
greeted the news of his death at the Battle of Bosworth with these
words: King Richard, late mercifully reigning over us, was, through
great treason, piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of
The mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, was quoted on the BBC News
website questioning why the Plantagenet Alliance's opinion mattered at
all. He pointed out that "basic maths" showed that Richard III, who had
five siblings, could have many "collateral" descendants.
Authorities in York point out that their exhibition on Richard III,
which has been there since the 1990s, helped the city receive record
numbers of visitors last year.
The judicial review on the matter of King Richard's final resting place will take place at the High Court in London on 13 March.