News / Europe

Remains of English King Richard III Identified

King Richard III remains in Leicester, Britain
King Richard III remains in Leicester, Britain
VOA News
Scientists say 500-year-old remains found under a parking lot in the city of Leicester are those of England's King Richard III.

University of Leicester researchers said at a televised news conference on Monday that it is "beyond reasonable doubt" that a battle-scarred skeleton unearthed last October is the king, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

Osteologist (a scientist who studies bones) Jo Appleby said that a study of the bones provides "a highly convincing case for identification of" the 32-year-old king, who ruled England for only two years. DNA from the skeleton matches a sample taken from a distant living relative.

Richard was the last English monarch to die in battle.  William Shakespeare depicted him in a play as a ruthless tyrant, but many historians say that image is unfair.

Historic accounts said the king had been buried in a Catholic church in Leicester; but the building was later destroyed and its location forgotten.

  • A photo made available by the University of Leicester of the remains of England's King Richard III found underneath a car park last September at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, Britain.
  • A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in London, February 5, 2013.
  • A photo made available by the University of Leicester of the skull found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, Britain.
  • A photo made available by the University of Leicester, England, of remains of England's King Richard III found underneath a car park last September at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, Britain.
  • Archaeologist Mathew Morris points to where he found skeleton remains during an archaelogical dig to find the remains of King Richard III in Leicester, central England, September 12, 2012.
  • A painting of King Richard III by an unknown artist from the 16th Century is seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London in an August 24, 2012 file photo.


  • A photo made available by the University of Leicester of the remains of England's King Richard III found underneath a car park last September at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, Britain.
  • A facial reconstruction of King Richard III is displayed at a news conference in London, February 5, 2013.
  • A photo made available by the University of Leicester of the skull found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, Britain.
  • A photo made available by the University of Leicester, England, of remains of England's King Richard III found underneath a car park last September at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, Britain.
  • Archaeologist Mathew Morris points to where he found skeleton remains during an archaelogical dig to find the remains of King Richard III in Leicester, central England, September 12, 2012.
  • A painting of King Richard III by an unknown artist from the 16th Century is seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London in an August 24, 2012 file photo.

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