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The Tudor Society

Richard III DNA Results

Society of Antiquaries of London portrait of Richard III

Society of Antiquaries of London portrait of Richard III

The internet was buzzing yesterday afternoon with headlines like "Does Richard III's DNA question Queen's right to the throne?", "Richard III's DNA throws up infidelity surprise" and "Richard III?s DNA Shows Tudors May Have No Claim to the Throne". This was due to the publication of the findings of the DNA investigation carried out by the University of Leicester.

Click here to read the findings - and this is the journal article by Dr Turi King and her team, not the press's take on things. The main findings are:

  • That the evidence for the remains being those of Richard III is overwhelming.
  • The skeleton had a 96% probability of having blue eyes together with a 77% probability of having blond hair - the report notes that "current hair colour DNA predictions resemble childhood hair colour and it is important to note that in certain blond individuals, hair colour can darken during adolescence" and that this would have been in keeping with the early Society of Antiquaries of London portrait of Richard III.
  • Y-chromosome haplotypes from male-line relatives and the remains do not match, which could be attributed to a false-paternity event occurring in any of the intervening generations.

The second main finding has obviously caused a stir, but I don't think the Queen is in danger of being removed!

It really does make interesting reading, doesn't it?

John Ashdown-Hill has written two articles for our special Richard III themed March issue of Tudor Life and he talks about his role in the DNA research prior to the dig and also his thoughts on the paternity of Edmund Tudor. I'm looking forward to that!

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Richard III DNA Results