Richard III

In 2012, a skeleton was excavated at the presumed site of the Grey Friars friary in Leicester, the last-known resting place of King Richard III. Archaeological, osteological and radiocarbon-dating data were consistent with the theory of these being his remains.

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Last month, Turi E. King et al. reported (Nature Communications 5) the same DNA sequences from both the skeletal remains and living relatives of Richard III .

They found a perfect mitochondrial DNA match between the sequences obtained from the remains and one living relative. There was a single-base substitution when compared with a second relative.

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DNA-predicted hair and eye colour are consistent with Richard’s appearance in an early portrait. They calculated likelihood ratios for the non-genetic and genetic data separately, and combined, and concluded that the evidence for the remains being those of Richard III is overwhelming.