Face of Richard III to be revealed

Image built up from CT scan will be unveiled one day after Leicester remains were confirmed as last Plantagenet king

The skull of Richard III. Experts have used CT scans to generate an image of his face that is to be formally unveiled by the Richard III Society on Tuesday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The face of King Richard III is set to be unveiled to the world after a skeleton found under a council car park was confirmed as that of the last Plantagenet king.

A computer image showing what the monarch might have looked like is to be released by the Richard III Society on Tuesday morning after experts said the skeleton unearthed in Leicester was proven “beyond reasonable doubt” to be that of the king who died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

The image is based on a CT scan taken by experts at the University of Leicester, who discovered the king’s skeleton during an archaeological dig last September with the help of the society.
Richard III’s skeleton was found in the remains of the choir of the Greyfriars church, which now lies under a social services car park in the city.

The facial reconstruction will be unveiled to the media at the Society of Antiquaries at Burlington House in Piccadilly, London, at 10am.

University of Leicester academics announced on Monday that tests had established that the skeleton found under a car park in Leicester was that of the slain Richard III, who ruled England from 1483 to 1485. Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the project at the University of Leicester, said that his team had proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that the bones were those of the last Plantagenet king.

DNA evidence from the skeleton was matched with that from Michael Ibsen, a Canadian who is a direct descendent of Richard’s sister Anne of York. In addition, evidence of battle wounds on the skeleton, and features of the remains such as a curved spine, provided a “highly convincing case” for this being Richard, Leicester university’s Dr Jo Appleby said.

His death was probably caused by one of two injuries to the base of the skull, both inflicted with a bladed weapon, Appleby said.

Richard’s body will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, probably early in 2014. A temporary exhibition will open there on 8 February, followed by a permanent visitors’ centre telling the story of Richard’s life and death.

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