It is King Richard III. It has now been confirmed that indeed the skeleton found beneath a parking lot is his. Richard’s remains were said to have been buried in Greyfriars church, Leicester. But this church was lost until archaeologists excavated a car park and discovered medieval remains. Victorian foundations had almost destroyed the entire grave and the feet were lost.
“His skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull. The bones, which are of a man in his late 20s or early 30s, have been carbon dated to a period from 1455-1540. Richard was 32 when he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
Speaking at the press conference at the University of Leicester, Dr Turi King, project geneticist, said there had been concern DNA in the bones would be too degraded: “The question was could we get a sample of DNA to work with, and I am extremely pleased to tell you that we could.” She added: “There is a DNA match between the maternal DNA of the descendants of the family of Richard III and the skeletal remains we found at the Greyfriars dig. ”In short, the DNA evidence points to these being the remains of Richard III.”
Richard III’s remains will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral, close to the site of his original grave, in a memorial service expected to be held early next year, once analysis of the bones is completed.
Many know this King as a deformed monster as successfully portrait by many actors on stage and in the movies. However, all the monster characteristics were added during the reigns of Richard’s successors. It will be interesting to see the facial reconstruction and to compare that to the surviving portraits of this King.
UPDATE: here is a photograph of the facial reconstruction from the BBC!
I have started a mini-series about the accusations that King Richard III murdered his nephews, Edward V and Richard of York.
The rest will be posted soon.