The dig site where the skeleton of King Richard III was discovered.
A skeleton found under a council car park in Leicester has been shown ''beyond reasonable doubt'' to be that of King Richard III, in one of the most dramatic archaeological finds of recent British history.
A detailed forensic examination of the skull and bones, including DNA tests, has solved the 528-year mystery of what happened to the body of the last Plantagenet king who died in the battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.
The University of Leicester, which funded the archaeological dig, say radiocarbon dating had placed the age of skeleton within the time frame of Richard's death, and the skull and bones bear the brutal marks of being cut down on a medieval battlefield. The man also suffered severe spinal curvature, which would have made his right shoulder higher than the left. This is consistent with the Shakesperian notion that Richard, the ''hunchbacked king'', had a deformed stature. Scientists say that the age of the man at death was between 30 and 33, which is consistent with the age of the 32-year-old king. He also had a slender, almost feminine physique, which matches historical descriptions of Richard.
The skull of King Richard III.
Crucially, DNA extracted from the teeth and bone match the two living maternal relatives of Richard whose genealogy has been confirmed. The chance of this being a random match are only ''a few per cent''.
Turi King, who carried out the DNA analysis, says, ''The DNA evidence points to these being the remains of Richard III … The type of DNA we extracted is extremely rare, shared by only a few per cent of the population. Taken together with the other evidence, it is a very strong and compelling case.''
■ Steve Connor, The Independent