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King Richard III Of England Identified With DNA: Remains Found In 2012 From Leicester Parking Lot Analyzed; Findings Could Cast Doubt On Family Lineage [PHOTO]

By Marisa Lewis | December 03, 2014 11:35 AM EST

Genetic materials from remains in a Leicester parking lot have been proven to be those of King Richard III of England. According to BBC, scientists first extracted genetic material in 2012 from the remains discovered on the former site of Greyfriars Abbey, where Richard was interred after his death in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. However, what's more exciting is that new information taken from the remains could cast doubt on the Tudor claim to the English throne.

It has taken quite some time to analyze the ancient King's DNA, as older DNA is much harder to work with. Lead study author Turi King stated, "Ancient DNA is far more difficult to work with...  If you were to breathe on [Richard III's] DNA, you'd be depositing huge amounts of your own DNA on it." As a result, any analysis was done in extremely sterile conditions and checked multiple times for accuracy.

Now, the results are finally in. DNA analysis shows that genes passed down on the maternal side matches that of Richard's living relatives, but the genetic information passed down on the male side does not. These findings point to infidelity. However, researchers are not sure when in the royal lineage the infidelity took place.

Professor Kevin Schurer, a genealogy specialist, stated, "We may have solved one historical puzzle, but in so doing, we opened up a whole new one," conveying that the infidelity could, in theory, question the line of inheritance between Richard III and his royal rival Henry Tudor (later Henry VII).

When asked whether a break in the family tree leading to the Tudors could imply anything serious for the legitimacy of the present-day royal family, Schurer replied, "Royal succession isn't straightforward inheritance from fathers to sons, and/or daughters. History has taken a series of twists and turns."

Indeed, nothing is certain at the moment. Anna Whitelock of the University of London reminded reporters at BBC that "It's important to note that Henry VII claimed the throne 'by right of conquest' not blood or marriage - his claim was extremely tenuous... Royal succession has been based on many things in the past: ability to lead troops, religion, connections - not always seniority by royal blood."

Tagged :  King Richard III, Genetics, Leicester, lineage, DNA, Tudor, Henry Tudor, Henry VII

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