This entry is mainly concerning the on-going dig in Leicester City Centre where a skeleton which could be Richard III has been discovered. I was lucky enough to be one of the 1500 people who visited last Saturday.
The archaeologists are being deliberately cautious in talking about this find at the moment and rightly so.
If the remains are of Richard III there are so many questions, decisions and statements to be made. Firstly, who is responsible for making decisions on this particular skeleton? The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have rules and regulations about how remains should be treated within museums and institutions, but they are not in a museum. I am sure there are laws and legalities that cover situations like this, but it could be a king. Does that change processes or will precedents be discarded?
These could be the bones of a king, should the Royal Family have a say in what should happen to them, but saying that, he was a deposed king, killed by the forces of the next king. Does that make it more complicated? The Royal Family has since changed dynasties a couple of times since 1485, so there is no actual family link anymore apart from the claim to the throne. Does this then leave the great great great great nephew to decide what happens as the person with the closest link to the remains? If this wasn’t a king, but we were in the same situation, I am sure it would be up to the family to decide, especially of the genetic link is established.
John Ashworth MP tweeted that the House of Commons has said that if the remains are Richard III that they should be laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral. Quite a sensible proposal, but is that up to the Commons to decide? What if the Cathedral should decline to take the remains, Richard III was buried in a Catholic Friary after all. Should he be interred in Wetminster Abbey with the other kings and queens?
So many questions, some of which may be irrelevant if the remains are not Richard III. Any suggestions or further information on this would be welcome!