He was one of the most reviled and divisive kings in English history.
And, more than 500 years since he was hacked to death on a British battlefield, he is continuing to split opinion.
In one corner are the descendants of Richard III, whose bones were discovered under a car park in Leicester, England, last year.
Opposing them is the University of Leicester, who led the mission to find, exhume and identify Richard’s remains – hailed as one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries in English history.
The university had obtained permission to reinter the king at the cathedral in Leicester, which is close to where he died in Bosworth in 1485.
But in a ruling on Friday (Aug 16) High Court Judge Charles Haddon-Cave said there should have been wider consultation about the burial plan. He then granted permission to the Plantagenet Alliance, a group of descendants and enthusiasts who want to bury him near York, to initiate a judicial review into the issue. They argue he should be buried in the northern English city because that was where he had close links to during his life.
The judge wrote: “The archaeological discovery of the mortal remains of a former king of England after 500 years is without precedent.
“I would, however, urge the parties to avoid embarking on the (legal) Wars of the Roses Part 2. In my view, it would be unseemly, undignified and unedifying to have a legal
tussle over these royal remains.”
Richard, depicted by William Shakespeare as a deformed tyrant who murdered his two young nephews to strengthen his grip on power, died during the War of the Roses. The 30-year civil war was a dynastic power struggle between two rival Plantagenet factions. Richard’s death ended Plantagenet rule and heralded the start of the Tudor era under King Henry VII.