Back in September, we reported that the lost tomb of Richard III may have been found in Leicester, England. Now the Daily Mail reports the remains in that tomb have been determined to be those of the king.
Richard III was the last of the Plantagenet kings and fought the Tudors during the War of the Roses for control of the kingdom. The final showdown came in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth, where Richard was killed. His body was buried in the church of the Franciscan friary of the Grey Friars in nearby Leicester. The church and friary were demolished in the 1530s and its location forgotten. Using old maps, archaeologists from the University of Leicester and the Richard III Society figured out that the church lay beneath the parking lot of the city’s social services department.
The team sunk exploratory trenches and soon located the friary and the remains of a man and a woman. The male skeleton had wounds from an arrow and from a blade to the skull, consistent with accounts of Richard’s death. The skeleton also suffered from scoliosis. Richard was said to have been a humpback, and this disease could have created such a deformity.
There has yet to be an official announcement. The Daily Mail cites an unnamed source with “knowledge of the excavation” and states that an official announcement won’t come until a TV documentary airs in January. A descendant of Richard III was used to provide a DNA match but it’s unclear if this is what has determined the body is that of the dead king.
The Daily Telegraph has also reported that unnamed sources confirm the skeleton is that of the king “beyond all reasonable doubt.”
While royalty are generally buried in Westminster Abbey in London, the Ministry of Justice has ruled that any remains determined to be those of Richard III should be buried in Leicester Cathedral.