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Richard III was king of England for two turbulent years. He is best known for being accused of murdering his nephews to protect his throne.
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Lord Hastings, a trusted adviser to King Edward IV, was executed on charges of treason. On July 6, 1483, Richard III officially became the country's new king.
Despite his hard-fought efforts, Richard III only enjoyed a brief stint as monarch. He did make some attempts to ease tensions with the Lancastrians,
allowing the relocation of Henry VI's remains to St. George's Chapel. He also sought to improve relations with Scotland by agreeing to a ceasefire. Despite his efforts, however, Richard III still found himself fighting hard against his adversaries to hold on to the crown. On August 22, 1485, he lost his life in the Battle of Bosworth; he was defeated by Henry Tudor, who would later become King Henry VII.
Over the years, Richard III has been portrayed as a brutal, cold-hearted villain. William Shakespeare wrote an entire play about this allegedly hunch-backed monarch: King Richard III. Since then, many famous actors have played him on stage and in films, including Laurence Olivier and Al Pacino.
In September 2012, a team of archaeologists from Leicester University uncovered a body believed by some to be the remains of Richard III. The skeleton was uncovered at the former site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester, where Richard III was reportedly buried. The church had been destroyed in the 1530s, and the site had been a car parking lot in recent times.
The recovered skeleton showed two remarkable similarities to Richard III. The deceased had died of a head injury received in battle and had "spinal abnormalities," according to a Reuters report. DNA samples were taken from the remains to be compared against a known descendant of Richard III's sister. In February 2013, the DNA results were revealed and verified the archaeological team's suspicions: The remains did, in fact, belong to Richard III.
Shortly after the news broke, plans began for the body of the last Plantagent king to be re-interred. Some expect that he will be lay to rest at Leicester Cathedral, not far from the archaeologist site and where Richard III met his grisly end.
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