DNA tests have identified the remains of King Richard III, England’s last monarch who died in battle 500 years ago. A team of scientists used map regression analysis to identify the burial site, located in a municipal parking lot in Leicester.
Mitochondrial DNA testing confirmed that the DNA extracted from the bones matched that of Michael Ibsen, a Canadian cabinetmaker and direct descendant of Richard III’s sister, Anne of York. The DNA was also matched to a second distant relative, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Richard III is the last of the Plantaganet line of rulers. Upon his death, the throne was taken over by Henry VII. Richard’s accession to the throne and his short reign were popularized in Shakespeare’s play, which depicts him in a mostly negative light. In reality, many regarded him as a “good king” who fought to uplift the conditions of the poor.
The recent discovery allowed the facial reconstruction of the king, commissioned by the Richard III Society, which hopes to illuminate the kinder virtues of the king.
The mitochondrial DNA testing used to verify Richard III’s remains is easily accessible to anyone today. In fact, DNA Diagnostics Center’s mtDNA maternal lineage test can identify whether you share the same haplogroup as Richard III, or that of another famous person.