Stop Digging!

Richard III - Princes in Tower Will Not Be Disinterred

02.07.13 5:09 PM ET

A halt has been drawn to the digging up of royal remains in the UK to solve historical puzzles.

Following the discovery of Richard III's body, interest in his murder of his nephews, "the Princes in the Tower" has been reignited. The boys remains are supposedly contained in an urn in Westminster Abbey.

A painting of Britain's King Richard III by an unknown artist is displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in central London on January 25, 2013. A skeleton found underneath a car park in the English city of Leicester is confirmed to be that of king Richard III, one of history's most notorious villains, scientists said on February 4, 2013.  AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal  == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE, MANDATORY MENTION OF THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY, TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION ==        (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images

According to the Guardian, "previously confidential correspondence reveals that the Church of England, with backing from the Queen and ministers, has repeatedly refused requests to carry out similar forensic tests to those used to identify the remains of Richard III this week to see if the bones buried in Westminster Abbey are those of Richard's two nephews."

DNA testing was refused not solely on the grounds that it could set a precedent for testing historical theories that would lead to multiple royal disinterments, but also because "the church was also uncertain what to do with the remains if the DNA tests were negative, potentially leaving the church with the dilemma of how to manage bogus bones."

The Queen was reportedly in "full agreement" with the church authorities that the urn should not be opened.