At 10am this morning at a press conference, officials at Leicester University confirmed that the remains found under a car park in the City Centre of Leicester were indeed those of Richard III.
The University of Leicester led the “Looking for Richard” project along with the Richard III Society.
According to a press release issued by the Richard III Society, Dr. Phil Stone, Chairman of the Richard III Society hailed it “a unique moment in history” and Philippa Langley, originator of the project commented, “This is the stuff of legends.”
When we reported on this last fall, a skeleton thought to be that of Richard III had been found in what had been a priory, now a car park. With an arrow lodged in the vertebrae, the back of the skull had sustained damage from battle wounds and the spine showed a noticeable curvature – all following the legendary characteristics of the last monarch to be killed in battle.
At the press conference today, the scientific evidence was reported giving historians a “spine-tingling” moment of history. The bones date from 1455 – 1540 and suggest a male of slender build ranging in age from late 20s to early 30s, which fit descriptions of the last Plantagenet king. Dr. Jo Appleby, project osteologist, outlined the 10 wounds found on the remains which are concurrent with someone who died in battle.
According to The Guardian, the positioning of the hand bones suggests that the hands were tied at the time of burial and there was no visible shroud or coffin suggesting burial without ceremony. More importantly, a DNA sample taken from the remains matched a sample taken from two living descendants.
The plan for the remains is to re-inter them later this year in Leicester Cathedral. A possible move to Westminster Abbey was suggested by supporters of Richard III, but according to the Washington Post, that option was vetoed by Queen Elizabeth II. Some supporters would like the remains to be buried in York Minster, but Church of England and Leicester Officials prefer that the King rest for eternity in the city near to where he met his end.
It does not appear that the fine folk of Leicester will get their car park back as there are plans afoot to open a visitor’s center at the excavation site and tell the story of the most misunderstood monarch in British History.
Channel 4 will be screening a documentary this evening at 9pm: “The King in the Car Park” taking viewers through the discovery.