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King Richard III Had Blue Eyes and Blond Hair, Gene Studies Suggest

Scientists say they are now 99.999 percent sure the remains were Richard, and a 500-year-old "missing person's case" can finally be closed.

British scientists analyzing 500-year-old bones found under a car park say it is now beyond almost any doubt that the remains are of King Richard III, and that studies suggest he had blue eyes and blond hair as a boy. Publishing their latest findings in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from Leicester University also said DNA analysis showed a match between King Richard III and two modern female-line relatives. The remains of Richard — the last English monarch to die in battle — were found by archaeologists under a municipal car park in the central English city of Leicester in 2012 and subsequently identified by experts from the university. In a research paper published in September, the scientists were able to give blow-by-blow details of the King's death at the Battle of Bosworth more than 500 years ago, revealing he was very probably killed by a blow to his bare head. For the latest work, led by genetics expert Dr Turi King, researchers collected DNA from living relatives of Richard III and analyzed several genetic markers, including the complete mitochondrial genomes, inherited through the maternal line, and Y-chromosomal markers, inherited through the paternal line. King said her team were now 99.999 percent sure the remains were Richard and a 500-year-old "missing person's case" could finally be closed.


— Reuters