(Patrick Kingsley’s article appeared in the Guardian, 9/12.)
"My kingdom for a DNA swab!" is, more or less, the cry that went up on Tuesday in a small car park in Leicester. Archaeologists pootling around in said car park – normally reserved for social workers – thought they might have found the long-lost remains of Richard III.
But is it really him? The much-maligned Plantagenet was certainly killed nearby at the Battle of Bosworth, after an unsuccessful – if apocryphal – search for a horse. It's also known he was buried in a church in Leicester, the ruins of which lie beneath the car park. The skeleton in question even has an arrowhead in its skull, and a curved spine. Both match reports of Richard's wounds and physical appearance. But the winter of archaeological discontent is not over yet: the bones' DNA will need to be compared with those of a 55-year-old Canadian furniture-maker, Michael Ibsen, who is the direct descendant of Richard's sister Anne.