Richard III dig: King's remains 'will stay in Leicester'
Experts say if the skeleton found under a city car park turns out to be King Richard III it is "highly likely" he will be laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral.
It has been suggested that if DNA tests revealed the bones found under the Greyfriars car park, in Leicester, were those of the last Plantaganet king, they would be claimed by Westminster Abbey.
But Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, who played a key role in the dig, said a private secretary to the Queen had confirmed the Palace was not interested in claiming the king – and would rather see him buried in Leicester.
Ms Langley said: "We've been in touch with the Palace and they've said that they don't want Richard for Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle.
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"Not because they don't want him, but they believe because he died in Leicester and was buried in Leicester for 500 years, he should stay in Leicester.
"So, Westminster and Windsor Castle are definitely out."
She said there was strong evidence that Richard had wanted to be buried at York Minister.
She said: "I will say, though, that it is best archaeological practice to re-inter as close to the site of discovery as possible and the site is in the shadow of Leicester Cathedral.
"I would say there is a very high chance it will be Leicester Cathedral.
"The palace have said they believe it should be Leicester Cathedral."
Buckingham Palace did not wish to comment when contacted by the Mercury.
Archaeologists led by Richard Buckley, co-director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services, began stripping back the soil and carving out trenches on August 25.
They found a Franciscan friary containing an adult male skeleton with a barbed iron arrowhead in its spine, a bashed skull and spinal abnormalities, probably caused by scoliosis. They also found a skeleton of a woman.
DNA testing to confirm the identity of the bones could take 12 weeks.
Talk of Richard and where his potential remains should stay reached the House of Commons yesterday.
Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth asked leader of the house Andrew Lansley to promise the remains would stay in Leicester if they turned out to be Richard's.
Mr Ashworth said: "He said he could not comment on it.
"William II is in Winchester and Edward II is in Gloucester, so other monarchs have been buried outside of Westminster Abbey – why not Richard, if it turns out to be him?"
Mr Buckley said: "Richard was buried in the parish in good faith and there's no reason why he should be moved.
"As a Leicester boy, I hope the remains stay in Leicester."
But not everyone would be happy if the royal remains stayed here.
The Richard III Foundation said the remains should go to Westminster or York.
Founder and chief executive of the organisation, JoeAnn Ricca said: "It is our hope that Richard's remains can be placed either in Westminster Abbey, united with his wife Anne Neville, or in York Minster, where in 1483 Richard himself began plans for a chantry chapel and where in the North of England he was, and still is, much loved."
Michael Ibsen, a descendent of Richard III, said: "I think he should stay in Leicester.
"He was killed there and he was buried there.
"My personal feeling is that it's only proper he remains there."
Tourism officials are already taking advantage of increased visitor numbers due to the discovery.
Leicester Shire Promotions, which runs the Visit Leicester tourist information centre in Gallowtree Gate, launched a King Richard-themed short break on its website on Wednesday night.
For £99, a couple can stay in Leicester, go on a Richard III-themed guided walk, visit Bosworth Battlefield and have afternoon tea at the Belmont Hotel, in New Walk.
Visit Leicester spokesman Simon Gribbon said the company had been offering guided tours for some time.
He said: "We put together the offer because we thought we should strike while the iron is hot. If the remains stay in Leicester, it would mean some of the extra status is retained.''