England's King Richard III identified with DNA - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

England's King Richard III identified with DNA

Posted: Updated:
DNA testing also has raised questions about the nobility of some of his royal successors. DNA testing also has raised questions about the nobility of some of his royal successors.
LONDON -

Scientists say there is "overwhelming evidence" that a skeleton found under a parking lot is that of England's King Richard III, but their DNA testing also has raised questions about the nobility of some of his royal successors.

The bones of the 15th-century king were dug up in the city of Leicester in 2012, and experts have published initial data suggesting they belong to Richard, including an analysis of his curved spine and the injuries that killed him.

Richard was the last English monarch to die on a battlefield, in 1485.

In the new study - probably the oldest forensic case ever solved - scientists compared DNA from the skeleton to living relatives and analyzed DNA data identifying eye and hair color, which they matched to the earliest known portrait of the king.

"The probability that this is Richard is 99.999 percent," said Turi King, a geneticist at the University of Leicester who led the research. When she and colleagues compared the skeleton's DNA obtained from the ground-up powder of one tooth and a leg bone to samples provided by a 14th cousin on Richard's maternal side, they found a perfect match.

Based on the skeleton's DNA, King and colleagues hypothesized that Richard had blue eyes and blond hair in childhood, which darkened with age. With no contemporary paintings of the king available, they compared their findings to the earliest known painting of him, which depicts the monarch with light brown hair and blue eyes, painted about 25 years after his death.

The research was published Tuesday in the journal, Nature Communications.

Scientists also compared the skeleton's DNA to samples from living relatives on Richard's father's side. They found no match, a discovery that could throw the nobility of some royals into question.

While researchers weren't able to say where on the family tree the adultery occurred, they said the findings potentially raise questions about the legitimacy of Henry V, Henry VI and the entire Tudor dynasty, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

Still, Kevin Schurer, pro vice chancellor of the University of Leicester and another study author, said claims to the throne are based on more than simply having royal blood and also rest on other things such as battlefield victories and royal marriages.

He said England's current royal family - which has a line of descent from the House of Tudor - should not be worried. "We are not in any way indicating that Her Majesty (Elizabeth II) shouldn't be on the throne," Schurer said.

Researchers said it was the first time there was scientific evidence that questioned medieval lines of succession in the monarchy.

Other academics said history is littered with claims and counter-claims of royal legitimacy.

"When Richard took the throne, he said his brother Edward should never have been king because he was illegitimate," said Steven Gunn, a tutor in history at Oxford University.

Gunn said it was unlikely anyone would ever learn the truth behind the most damaging rumors about Richard - that he murdered his young nephews to hang onto his crown. Still, Gunn said, a more complex picture of the king is now emerging.

"This opens up a new posthumous discussion about Richard's legacy," the historian said. "He has been misrepresented as just a king with scoliosis."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Cheney teacher's Twitter thread on letting student sleep goes viral

    Cheney teacher's Twitter thread on letting student sleep goes viral

    Monday, May 21 2018 9:34 PM EDT2018-05-22 01:34:14 GMT

    CHENEY, Wash. - A Cheney High School English teacher let a student sleep in his class last week and the thread on Twitter describing the reason has gone viral.  Monte Syrie tweeted the reason he let the student, Meg, sleep in class last week and the thread caught the attention of many.  The thread reads in its entirety here: 

    >>

    CHENEY, Wash. - A Cheney High School English teacher let a student sleep in his class last week and the thread on Twitter describing the reason has gone viral.  Monte Syrie tweeted the reason he let the student, Meg, sleep in class last week and the thread caught the attention of many.  The thread reads in its entirety here: 

    >>
  • Friends remember Spokane man fatally stabbed

    Friends remember Spokane man fatally stabbed

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 2:05 AM EDT2018-05-22 06:05:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Friends and family are devastated and heartbroken over the death of 28-year-old Corey Ward, who was stabbed and slashed by a killer. Ward did not survive and so far, Spokane police haven't made any arrests. It happened on May 17 just before midnight in the 2400 block of West Cleveland in Northwest Spokane.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash.- Friends and family are devastated and heartbroken over the death of 28-year-old Corey Ward, who was stabbed and slashed by a killer. Ward did not survive and so far, Spokane police haven't made any arrests. It happened on May 17 just before midnight in the 2400 block of West Cleveland in Northwest Spokane.

    >>
  • Florida man climbs on playground equipment, tells kids where babies come from

    Florida man climbs on playground equipment, tells kids where babies come from

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 1:56 AM EDT2018-05-22 05:56:04 GMT

    CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - A 30-year-old Florida man was fined $118 and ordered to stay away from a park after police say the man climbed on playground equipment and yelled at children in the area about where babies come from. Otis Dawayne Ryan was taken into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon in Clearwater Beach, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

    >>

    CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - A 30-year-old Florida man was fined $118 and ordered to stay away from a park after police say the man climbed on playground equipment and yelled at children in the area about where babies come from. Otis Dawayne Ryan was taken into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon in Clearwater Beach, according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Spokane business uses high-pitched beeping sound as loitering deterrent

    Spokane business uses high-pitched beeping sound as loitering deterrent

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 1:07 AM EDT2018-05-23 05:07:19 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If you're near 2nd and Division in downtown Spokane, you may hear something unpleasant. It's a high pitched beeping sound coming from the nearby 7-Eleven.  "It works great sometimes in crowd dispersal applications...the military's used it...so it is a useful tool," said Officer Josh Laiva of the Spokane Police Department.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - If you're near 2nd and Division in downtown Spokane, you may hear something unpleasant. It's a high pitched beeping sound coming from the nearby 7-Eleven.  "It works great sometimes in crowd dispersal applications...the military's used it...so it is a useful tool," said Officer Josh Laiva of the Spokane Police Department.

    >>
  • Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-05-23 04:04:19 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - Philip Roth, a prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, has died.    The celebrated and controversial author of "Portnoy's Complaint," ''The Counterlife" and other novels was 85. His death was confirmed by his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who said Roth died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure.

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - Philip Roth, a prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, has died.    The celebrated and controversial author of "Portnoy's Complaint," ''The Counterlife" and other novels was 85. His death was confirmed by his literary agent, Andrew Wylie, who said Roth died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure.

    >>
  • ACLU: Amazon shouldn't sell face-recognition tech to police

    ACLU: Amazon shouldn't sell face-recognition tech to police

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 11:15 PM EDT2018-05-23 03:15:02 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy activists are asking Amazon to stop marketing a powerful facial recognition tool to police.    They say law enforcement agencies could use the technology to to easily build a system that would automate the identification and tracking of anyone.    The tool is called Rekognition.

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy activists are asking Amazon to stop marketing a powerful facial recognition tool to police.    They say law enforcement agencies could use the technology to to easily build a system that would automate the identification and tracking of anyone.    The tool is called Rekognition.

    >>