Richard loves Richard, that is, I and I….
New Scientist may have uncovered the bones of Richard III, the king either most villainous or most misunderstood of Plantangenet:
What exactly has been found?
The body of an adult male has been excavated from what is believed to be ruins of the choir area of the Grey Friars church in Leicester. It’s now a car park in the city centre, but was used as a church in the late 15th century. Some records suggest that Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, was buried here.
So how do we know it’s him? Has the body got a hunched back?
We don’t know it’s him – yet – but yes, the skeleton does show signs of spinal curvature. Contemporary accounts, reinforced later by Shakespeare, described Richard III as being “hunchbacked”. The newly found body appears to have scoliosis, a form of spinal curvature that would have made the man’s right shoulder appear higher than the left shoulder….
Can DNA testing determine if the body is Richard III?
Perhaps. The Richard III Society says it has located someone – Londoner Michael Ibsen – who is apparently the 17th great grand-nephew of Richard III, in the female line. Ibsen’s late mother Joy Ibsen is purportedly a direct descendent of the King’s eldest sister, Anne. Richard’s male relatives were executed.
Leicester University geneticists hope to extract mitochondrial DNA taken from the skeleton’s teeth and compare it with DNA from Ibsen.