Facial Reconstruction Of Richard III Reveals "Handsome" 32-Year-Old

The unveiling today, at London's Society of Antiquaries, of a 3-D model of the last of the Plantagenet kings, does not show a face that only a mother could love.

Behold the face of Richard III. A model of the visage of the last of England's Plantagenet rulers has been unveiled in London, just 24 hours after mitochondrial DNA testing revealed that human remains discovered beneath a car park in Leicester used by social services, were those of the king.

This reconstruction, by a team at the University of Dundee using CT scans and then building up layers of muscle and skin by computer, is seen as important, as all existing portraits of Richard III date from after the monarch's death in 1485, aged just 32. Extraneous details on the model, such as hair and eye color, are based on these portraits. The physical result caused quite a stir amongst some of the experts. Philippa Langley, a member of the Richard III Society, and who was one of the driving forces behind the search for the lost king's body, said on last night's Channel 4 documentary, "It doesn't look like the face of a tyrant. I'm sorry, but it doesn't. He's very handsome."

Richard III met a gory end at the Battle of Bosworth, after which his lifeless body was displayed before being buried without ceremony in a church in Leicester.

[Image via Channel 4 and Leicester University]

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