King Richard III has been found. At around 10:38 a.m. United Kingdom time, researchers at the University of Leicester confirmed that the skeleton found in a Leicester parking lot was, indeed, the missing Plantagenet king.
Using live tweeting, a press conference and live feed from the BBC and BBC Radio Leicester as their tools, the scientists detailed the wounds, condition, contemporary accounts, carbon dating and, finally, DNA results of the body.
The story that began last September, when a dig in a parking lot uncovered the remains of a lost church and a battle-wounded body, now enters its next phase.
According to the university, Leicester City Council, the University and the Richard III Society have been working together on the skeleton, which in time will be given over for burial. Leicester Cathedral will receive the honor.
Leicester University released an image of the skull ahead of a “major announcement” with the world's press and all of Twitterdom in attendance. According to the Leicester University feed, #richardIII started trending three hours before the announcement, with tweets coming through at a rate of hundreds per minute.
The Independent explained that tests done included DNA tests against Michael Ibsen, a direct descendant of King Richard III's sister Anne, carbon dating, study of the teeth which might indicate whether he had a rich or a poor man's diet, and an examination of the sword wound in the back of the skull and arrow in the spine.
King Richard III was only monarch for three years, but Tudor propaganda has vilified him far beyond what was likely true. The skeleton showed signs of scoliosis, a condition that gave Shakespeare leeway to call him a crawling hunchback.
And, while Richard certainly performed several dastardly deeds, including having his nephews declared illegitimate so they couldn't inherit the crown, there is no proof that he ever murdered the princes in the tower.
No matter what Richard III did in his time, they were part and parcel of that time, and the missing king, stripped naked, ignominiously dumped into a grave with his hands possibly tied and feet missing, can now receive a burial worthy of his status.