LONDON, UK (CBS) - Archeologists in Britain say they've made an astonishing find. They believe they've uncovered the remains of long-lost royalty: King Richard III. Now they're using 21st century techniques to see if it really is him.
This is the story of a long-lost ancient English king who always had bad press, Richard the Third. Phillipa Langley with The Richard III Society says, "The hunchback, the withered arm, the serial killer, the brutal monster, the ruthless tyrant."
Richard III had been largely forgotten. Defeated by the man who would become King Henry the Seventh, he was killed in battle in the year 1485. Richard was unceremoniously buried in a local churchyard that has since become a parking lot.
Archeologists long suspected that Richard's remains lay somewhere in the neighborhood but they had two problems, finding him and proving what they found was him.
With the help of some local extras brought in to give the occasion some showbiz glamour, they found a skeleton that would have been a nice fit in the1485 season of CSI. Richard Taylor with Leicester University says, "A bladed implement appears to have cleaved part of the rear of the skull."
Enter into the drama Michael Ibsen, a furniture maker. It turns out King Richard the Third was his great-great, count up to sixteen, uncle. The reporter says, "So the phone rings, and someone says, 'I'm a historian, you're related to Richard III. Congratulations?" Ibsen replied, "More or less. I think he probably started the conversation by saying, 'I'm not a lunatic."
So Michael, a descendant of Richard III's sister has provided DNA material. If it matches the skeleton with the hole in its head, that'll be a good clue it's the real thing. Does he think "Is there something in this for me? Ibsen says no.
Richard III's claim to the throne was always suspect and the royal line has taken many twists and turns since. Ibsen says, "Well, I've been asked if there are any sort of spare palaces lying around that we might inherit, but I'm not holding out on that issue."
At the very least there may be some invitations to a better class of dinner party.