Trauma analysis of the skeleton found 10 battle wounds, eight on the skull and two on the body, which were inflicted around the time of death, according to Jo Appleby, project osteologist of the University of Leicester. Many of the wounds provided evidence of “post-mortem humiliation injuries,” exacted on Richard III after death by his adversaries. All skeletal evidence was considered highly convincing in support of identifying the remains as those of Richard III.
The next task for authorities was to decide where to reinter the king. This has been a contentious issue, which was hotly debated on the floor of the House of Commons between members of Parliament from York — for whom Richard was the last hope against rival Lancastrians in the War of the Roses — and Leicester, where the remains were found.
(Gavin Fogg/AFP/Getty Images) - In this Sept. 12, 2012 photo, men dressed as medieval knights pose for pictures in Leicester, England, at the site where a skeleton later identified as that of British medieval king Richard III was found.
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Church of England protocol suggests that the bones stay where they were found and be reburied in nearby Leicester Cathedral. But some supporters insisted that his remains be reinterred at the Anglican cathedral in York, where history suggests that he wanted to be buried.
The mayor of Leicester, Peter Soulsby, announced an agreement Monday to bury the king’s remains at Leicester Cathedral. This could prove to be a tourist boon for the Leicester City Council, which plans to open a visitor’s center at the excavation site, across from the church, that will tell what it considers the “real” story of Richard III.
Before this announcement, some of Richard’s staunchest supporters argued that a royal burial at Westminster Abbey would only be appropriate for the much-misunderstood monarch. That option seemed to have been vetoed by Queen Elizabeth II, whose royal lineage would not have been possible without the chain reaction caused by Richard’s death.
“We understand the queen has suggested that she doesn’t want him there,” said Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society. “But it would be nice if we could at least have a procession, with the coffin being carried in a stately carriage.”
When contacted by The Washington Post, a Buckingham Palace official said that this was not a matter for the royal household to decide.