We had a hunch it was him! DNA proves car park skeleton IS that of King Richard III
Archaeologists described the find as one of the most significant “in recent times” and said the history books had been rewritten
Remains discovered under a council car park ARE that of King Richard III, experts confirmed today.
Archaeologists described the find as one of the most significant “in recent times” and said the history books had been rewritten.
The dramatic discovery was made after a screenwriter researching a play about the monarch “felt a chill” and was immediately convinced the royal was buried there.
DNA tests taken from the skeleton, which has a curved spine, or “hunchback”, match two of his living descendants.
Experts began digging the site last September after Philippa Langley visited the car park in August 2009.
She said: “It was a hot summer and I had goosebumps so badly and I was freezing cold. I walked past a particular spot and absolutely knew I was walking on his grave.
“I am a rational human being but the feeling I got was the same feeling I have had before when a truth is given to me.
"On a subsequent visit, I found a little white ‘R’ painted on the exact same spot. Of course it was ‘R’ for ‘reserved’, not ‘R’ for Richard but from that moment on, I was on a mission.”
She was so sure, she began funding the dig, which has now changed history.
The king’s 500-year-old remains feature fatal skull wounds he sustained at the bloody Battle of Bosworth.
His skeleton also has a distinctive scoliosis of the spine and had a metal arrowhead in its back.
Experts believe one of the King’s shoulders was higher than the other, consistent with descriptions of him having a hunchback.
They even found evidence he was stabbed through the right buttock after his death aged 32 in 1485 by his jubilant enemy.
Delighted archaeologists said the discovery in the car park in Leicester was “truly astonishing”.
The Battle of Bosworth was the last act of the War of the Roses and saw the king defeated by Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VII.
According to records, Richard III was buried after the battle at a church called Grey Friars, which it is believed was on the site of the car park.
The medieval skeleton was discovered on the first day of the three-week dig. It was exhumed from just one metre below the ground in September and tested.
Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said the tests proved the remains were the king’s “beyond reasonable doubt”.
But he also revealed that Richard III’s skeleton was almost lost forever when a 19th Century toilet was built above its resting place.
He said: “The remains were very vulnerable because they were only under relatively modern debris.
“A 19th-Century brick outhouse came very close to destroying the grave. The feet were missing, almost certainly as a result of later disturbances.”
Just as Shakespeare described in his famous tale, the 5ft 8in skeleton shows Richard III did have a curved spine.