The skeleton of late British monarch Richard III (1452-1485) has been discovered under a parking lot in Leicester, England.
“Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch’s family,” the BBC reported.
“Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: ‘Beyond reasonable doubt it’s Richard,’” according to the BBC.
Scientists noted that Richard’s skull had suffered 10 wounds around the time of his death, which seems to confirm that Richard was indeed killed by a halberd blow to the head at the Battle of Bosworth Field, felled by soldiers of Sir William Stanley.
Richard III was believed to have ascended to the throne in 1483 after ordering the two pre-teen sons of Edward IV, Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, murdered in their dwelling in the Tower of London. Historians have cast doubt on the theory, which has never been confirmed.
One of the most prominent Shakespearean characters, Richard III was the subject of a late 16th century play by the Bard. Richard was depicted as an unattractive, pathetic man and a homicidal politician. ”Murder her brothers, then marry her; Uncertain way of gain,” fictional Richard said of his marriage to a princess.
Some historians have pointed out that Shakespeare’s play was influenced by the anti-Richard propaganda of the time period in which it was written.