Since Channel 4’s world exclusive documentary The King in the Car Park, which aired in February 2013 soon after it was confirmed that the skeletal remains found in Leicester were in fact those belonging to Richard III, further research and investigation has go on to find out more about the last Plantagenet King.
Scientists have been able to use Richard’s remains to analyse and examine how this King may have lived, allowing us to create a picture of his turbulent life in this latest documentary.
Experts from the University of Leicester and other institutions have paid particular interest to the skeleton’s severe spinal curve and investigated into whether such a condition would have affected his ability to wear armour and fight ferociously in battle.
In particular, scientists have been helped by 27-year-old Dominic Smee, who suffers from the same scoliosis as Richard. Dominic’s spine also curves at an angle of 75-degrees, which is considered ‘virtually identical’ to that of Richard’s by experts. Dominic agreed to help the scientists who were determined in understanding how Richard must have dealt with such a physical difficulty, especially during times of medieval warfare. In doing this, Dominic donned armour, wielded a sword, carried a lance and rode a horse in order to relate to experts how Richard must have felt when taking part in such customary activities.
Scientists have also used the latest techniques to reveal Richard’s diet and aspects of his lifestyle in the last years of his life, with some surprising results!
Richard III: The New Evidence will be broadcast on Sunday 17th August on Channel 4 at 9pm. The documentary was directed and produced by Gary Johnstone.
If you would like more information regarding the research and discovery behind Richard’s remains, a repeat of the second episode of Richard III: The King in the Car Park will be shown afterwards at 10pm on channel More4.
Photo credit: University of Leicester via photopin cc
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