In September 2011, the suspected skeleton of King Richard III was found in a Leicester parking lot. Similarities with known facts about the last Plantagenet king had already lead researchers to believe the remains belonged to Richard III, but it has now been officially confirmed after extensive DNA testing.
A 500 Year Old Question Finally Answered
The mystery surrounding King Richard III’s death had long been disputed within the archaeological and historical community of England. In 2011, a team lead by Richard Buckley determined the Leicester location to bGreyfriars, a prime dig area for the possible location of the king’s remains.
After the skeleton was exhumed and analyzed, carbon dating and clear signs of scoliosis lead the team to believe the skeleton belonged to King Richard III. It was widely known that England’s last Plantagenet monarch king suffered from scoliosis, a disease that significantly twists the spine.
|Image is licensed under CC Attribution|
The skeleton found during the dig matched Richard III’s fragile physical appearance, and the symptoms of his debilitating disease. While there was a substantial amount of evidence to support the team’s theory, forensic science confirmed these claims after testing DNA extracted from the remains.
Mitochondrial DNA samples were taken from the king’s closest living descendants for genetic comparison. One of these samples were provided by a Canadian born descendant of the king’s sister, Anne of York. The second sample was provided by an anonymous party, but both samples confirmed the team’s theory. The skeleton found at the Greyfriars dig was indeed King Richard III.
A Discovery That Could Change History For The Better
The last Plantagenet king of England has been depicted as a murderous tyrant throughout history. He was one of William Shakespeare’s most famous villains, and was said to be a king willing to do anything to keep the throne.
In Shakespeare play Richard III, the king murders his own brother, two nephews and his wife. From the Shakespearean era to modern film, Richard III has regularly been depicted as an evil monarch. According to known history, Richard III was killed during battle, and his body was publicly defiled after his death.
Conditions of the skeleton further support these claims, but modern historians think this discovery could shed some positive light on Richard III’s sinister reputation. According to many researchers, the reign of King Richard III was far less treacherous than his current historical reputation.
A New Resting Place For An Old English King
Despite present day conceptions of Richard III, his skeleton will be relocated to a more honorable resting place. A 2014 burial ceremony is already in the works. The king’s remains won’t be moving far from the parking lot discovery location. After further research and scientific confirmations, King Richard III will be put to rest in the Leicester Cathedral.
About the Author: