Over 34,300 people signed the online petition, whilst a rival petition supporting the burial in York, created by the Plantagenet Alliance, has received 31,260 names. The Alliance’s petition needed at least 100,000 signatures before a parliamentary discussion would occur to debate where the skeletal remains should be buried.
The Ministry of Justice issued the license for the University of Leicester to decide the final burial place. It is now believed that the results of these petitions will influence the outcome of the judicial review next month, as this review takes public opinion into account when making their final decision. Although, the Plantagenet Alliance has been successful in gaining a judicial review to challenge the final decision.
In February, when it was confirmed that the remains found under a car park in Leicester were that of Richard III, a debate surrounding where he should be buried sparked almost immediately. The creators of the rivalling petitions and members of the Richard III society continue to dispute where the king should be buried.
Some believe that because Richard has been buried in Leicester for 528 years and has become a focal point for the history of the city, it seems understandable that he would be reburied in the city he was found in.
Yorkists, on the other hand, disagree with this idea. Under the rule of his brother, Edward IV, Richard was made head of the Council of the North, which was based in Yorkshire, where he controlled governmental activity on behalf of the king in the north of England. Richard was also brought up in York, and was devoted to the Yorkist cause.
If the initial plans go ahead, then it is believed that Richard’s remains will be buried at some point before August 2014 in a specifically designed tomb in Leicester cathedral.