Moonday’s Heroic Hunk: The King is Found

Richard_III_earliest_surviving_portraitHeadline news resulted in this week’s Heroic Hunk being put aside to herald the announcement of the certain identification of the remains of Richard III, the Yorkist King of England. Richard and his Yorkist relatives had warred with the Tudor family for the throne of England. Richard’s oldest brother Edward had reigned as Edward IV. When Edward died young, he left two young sons with Richard as Lord Protector. Richard convinced his sister-in-law Elizabeth Woodville to allow the children to leave sanctuary and travel to London to be crowned king.  The oldest son who should have reigned as Edward V and  his younger brother traveled to the Tower of London and were never seen again. Many suspect the children were murdered at Richard’s order, insuring his own succession to the throne.  The discovery of the remains of two young children buried in the Tower tend to support their theory. Richard became King but reigned for only two years while defending his Crown. He was killed at Bosworth Field in 1485 when he was 32 years old.. His body was mutilated and put on display before being interred in Leicester. Henry Tudor, the victor of Bosworth, reigned as Henry VII who was succeeded by Henry VIII who was in turn succeeded by his daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. The victors write the history and the plays, so Richard has been portrayed as a poor king who valued only power.

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Last year, a skeleton was discovered in a parking lot. The fact that it had numerous battle wounds and a spinal curvature seen in scoliosis convinced the excavators that they had stumbled on the body of Richard III.  TODAY, after extensive testing—DNA, soil analysis, and dental tests—researchers announced that the skeleton was that of Richard III. They announced that the skull had a mortal battlefield wound from a sharp blade. Contemporary sources relate that Richard was fighting valiantly when a blow to his skull pushed his helmet into his skull. The skeleton’s skull had that exact wound at the base of his skull.  The final proof offered was DNA evidence from Michael Ibsen, a direct descendent of Richard’s niece, Anne St Leger. The remains will be interred in the nearby Leicester Cathedral in 2014. A comprehensive TV special is in the making. Check out the earliest portrait of Richard III from the early 1500s and a pic of the skeleton Check out the curvature of the spine of the skeleton. Next week, back on schedule.  Rita Bay

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