25 Aug 2012

Search for remains of dead king

1:10 pm on 25 August 2012

Archaeologists in Britain are preparing to search for the bones of King Richard III beneath a parking lot in central Leicester.

A team from the University of Leicester starts excavating on Saturday at the site, where a Franciscan friary known as Greyfriars once housed the monarch's remains.

King Richard died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He was the last Plantagenet king and was followed by the Tudors.

If any of his remains are found, they will be reinterred at Leicester cathedral. Bosworth Field is around 25km from Leicester.

Richard reigned for only two years and was portrayed as a power-hungry hunchback in The Tragedy of King Richard the Third by William Shakespeare.

His most infamous reputed deed was the murder of two princes in the Tower of London.

Richard was crowned at Westminster Abbey in July 1483 and died fighting his enemies led by Henry Tudor.

Archaeologists have access to his DNA after swab samples were taken on Friday from a direct descendant of the king's sister.