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Canadian relative says Richard III should stay in Leicester

Aug. 16, 2013 at 11:51 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The Canadian cabinetmaker whose DNA was used to identify the skeleton of King Richard III of England says his remote relative should be buried in Leicester.

Michael Ibsen, who now lives in Britain, weighed in on the controversy as a court in London ruled that the Plantagenet Alliance can pursue its court case over the king's new burial site, Postmedia News reported. The Alliance, which includes 15 people who claim kinship to Richard, wants him buried at York in northern England.

The king's remains were exhumed from a Leicester car park that occupies the site of the abbey where he was originally buried. They were positively identified by comparison with Ibsen's mitochondrial DNA. He is descended through a female line from Richard's sister, Anne of York.

"I've followed the Richard III project from the outset and was involved in the University of Leicester's analysis of the DNA evidence," Ibsen said in a statement released Friday by the university. "I support re-interment in Leicester Cathedral as entirely fitting and appropriate."

The alliance and other proponents of York Minster, including York officials, say Richard was Lord of the North under his brother, King Edward IV, and had close ties to the city. Leicester happens to be close to Bosworth Field, where Richard was killed fighting against Henry Tudor, the future King Henry VII.

The Alliance said it received notice a judicial review can be brought against England's secretary of state for justice and the University of Leicester, The (York) Press reported Friday.

Sandra Wadley of The Society of Friends of King Richard III called it "absolutely marvelous news. Just because he was found under a car park in Leicester doesn't mean he should be buried in Leicester."

Thousands of people can probably claim to be related to Richard III, including Queen Elizabeth II who is descended from Edward IV several times over. The current royal family has taken no position on where Richard should be buried.

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