The Royalist

02.04.13

CONFIRMED: Skeleton Found Under City Car Park IS That Of Villainous Richard III

Richard III, great villain of British history, buried under carpark

Admittedly its not the kind of breaking news and gossip in which the Royalist usually deals, but important tidings reach us from the fifteenth century.

Kings and Queens of England are traditionally laid to rest in pomp and circumstance at Westminster Abbey, but at least one former monarch ended up in a significantly less glamorous final resting place: the carpark of a supermarket in the provincial town of Leicester.

The skeleton of Richard III - Shakespeares's great villain of British history who murdered the two young Princes in the tower in a doomed attempt to hang on to power - was found last fall and extensive DNA tests have been ongoing since then. Today it was confirmed the skeleton is Richard's.

Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, bringing to an end the Wars of the Roses, and ushering in the reign of the Tudors.

Richard III went down as one of the most notorious villains in history. He was described by Shakespeare as having a hunchback and indeed the skeleton shows evidence of curvature of the spine. The skeleton was found with an arrowhead embedded in it, suggesting the King died in battle.

After a detailed academic presentation detailing the life and wounds of Richard III, the lead archaeologist on the project, Richard Buckley, announced his conclusion to cheers and applause.

"It's the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that beyond reasonable doubt the individual exhumed at Greyfriars in September 2012 is indeed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England," Buckley said.

Academics said DNA taken from the body matched that of Michael Ibsen, a Canadian-born furniture maker in London who genealogists said was the direct descendant of Richard's sister, Anne of York.

The skeleton showed signs of injuries consistent with wounds received in battle; a bladed implement appeared to have cleaved part of the rear of the skull while a barbed metal arrowhead was found between vertebrae of the skeleton's upper back.

Video screenshot

Watch the celebrated actors who have played Richard III.