It does not appear that the body of Richard III will be returning to Yorkshire, after the Chapter of York commended him to Leicester’s care.
Welcome to Yorkshire had launched a campaign to get the skeleton returned north, which was backed by local MPs.
However, the York Minster decision appears to have brought the campaign to an abrupt end.
In a statement, the Chapter said, “The Chapter of York understands the strong feeling of some people in York and Yorkshire that Richard III is significant to the history of the County and that therefore his body ought to be returned. York Minster itself has a window in his memory and many reminders of Richard’s place in our story.
“However, the recent verification of the identity of his remains follows a significant period in which Leicester and Leicestershire gained a sense of Richard belonging there, at least in death. It was Leicester Franciscans who gave him burial, and the cathedral has a major memorial to his memory at its heart.
“When the possibility of an excavation of the Greyfriars site began, it was agreed from the start that any remains found would be reinterred in Leicester. When the archaeologists found an intact body the Ministry of Justice licence was drawn up in those terms and explicitly named Leicester Cathedral. Since the news of the finding last year local people, like the people of York, have expressed a very strong wish that Richard, who has been with them since 1485, should stay in their keeping.
“The Chapter supports the terms of the Ministry of Justice licence and the wish of Chapter of Leicester that Richard should be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral. The Chapter of York commends Richard to Leicester’s care and to the cathedral community’s prayers.”