Body Buried In U.K. Car Park Is Richard III, Reveals DNA Testing

Twitter has gone crazy at the news that proves the skeleton is “beyond reasonable doubt” that of the 15th-century king.

Body Buried In U.K. Car Park Is Richard III, Reveals DNA Testing

Twitter is going crazy with the news that a skeleton found beneath a car park in Leicester belongs to none other than Richard III. The news was announced this morning at a press conference at Leicester University, by the lead archaeologist Richard Buckley. DNA testing–seen here on a 21st-century villain–was used successfully, despite the remains dating back to the 15th Century. And this is how they did it.


The first attempt was made by matching DNA of the remains with that of Richard’s brother Edward, using a couple of strands of Edward’s hair which had been kept as one of those weird medieval keepsakes. When that didn’t work, they traced the line down to a Canadian-born carpenter, Michael Ibsen, who was a 17th-generation descendant of Richard’s older sister, Anne of York, and used his DNA. The results proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that the skeleton was indeed that of Richard III, the final Plantagenet king of England.

Anyway, Twitter has gone mad with the news. Super Bowl? Super Bowl Haircut, more like. Here’s British comedian Jimmy Carr on the news.

But my favorite–and that of Twitter’s, it seems, has to be that of David Hepworth, who used to be my boss about a gazillion years ago, if a disclaimer is needed here.

His mis-spelling of the word “story” (now corrected) led to another, even better joke, if you allow some historical license with the facts.


And then came the Shakespearean references, Crookback Richard being one of Shakespeare’s most deliciously-written villains.

…which were closely followed by the Jimmy Hoffa quips.

Richard’s remains, with evidence of scoliosis (but no withered hand, as legend had it) and 10 wounds to the skull, of which two were fatal, and which were inflicted during the Battle of Bosworth, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral at a later date.

[Image by Flickr user Nick Bramhall]

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.