'Real face' of Richard III unveiled

The face of King Richard III

Janice Aitkin, of Dundee University, explains how she was involved in the reconstruction of the face of King Richard III

First published in National News © by

A facial reconstruction of Richard III has been unveiled showing the last Plantagenet king as a "living and breathing" monarch following the discovery of his skeleton in a council car park.

The bust shows Richard, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, with a large chin and nose, thin lips and prominent cheekbones and one shoulder higher than the other - as suggested by his spinal curvature.

The scientific reconstruction was created by experts at Dundee University, based on a CT scan of the remains which were found in an archaeological dig in September in the choir of the Greyfriars Church.

The discovery, one of the most dramatic archaeological finds in recent history, has been confirmed "beyond reasonable doubt" to be that of the king.

Richard III enthusiasts hailed the reconstruction as revealing a "more pleasant" looking Richard than those of contemporary portraits and "far removed" from the image of the cold-blooded villain portrayed by Shakespeare.

Dr Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society, spoke of the "smears, innuendos and myths" suffered by Richard following his death

"This shows the face of a man who has lain for more than 500 years in a shallow grave in the Greyfriars Church and who is now known to be an anointed medieval king - the 'king in the car park' as he has become known," he said.

The reconstruction was scientifically created by Caroline Wilkinson, professor of craniofacial identification at the University of Dundee, using a CT scan and later "humanised" by painting and adding features such as brows and lashes by Janice Aitken, a lecturer at the University of Dundee's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

Sarah Levitt, head of arts and museums for Leicester City Council, said the reconstruction showed "superb craftsmanship" and will be on display at the King Richard III visitor centre when it opens next year in the city.

The remains of Richard III will be reinterred early next year in a Christian-led ecumenical service at Leicester Cathedral.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:35pm Tue 5 Feb 13

wellnow says...

These remains are of a yorkist monarch well loved and revered in that county surely he should be interred in the minster with due deference to his rank as past king of england.
These remains are of a yorkist monarch well loved and revered in that county surely he should be interred in the minster with due deference to his rank as past king of england. wellnow
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree