Facial reconstruction of King Richard III looks like Prince Charming

Matthew Coutts
National Affairs Reporter
Daily Brew

The tyrant King Richard III is seeing a bit of a resurgence lately after a skeleton found under and English car park was confirmed to be that of the 500-year-old monarch, killed brutally in battle and remembered in history as kind of a jerk.

It turns out Richard, viewed as a miserable man who suffered from contorted body and facial features, might have been one handsome dude.

Richard III was killed in battle in 1485 and left in a humble, shallow grave. His depiction of a tyrant, notably in the damning Shakespearean play Richard III, led many to believe that his body may have later been desecrated and possibly thrown in the river.

[ Related: Remains of King Richard III confirmed by Canadian DNA ]

The discovery of his remains suggests to some he was not loathed in his time, and lend credence to a group of supporters known as Ricardians.

The Richard III Society, a group of Ricardians who feel the king has been depicted harshly, have released a facial reconstruction of Richard put together based on the findings in Leicester.

King Richard III, it seems, was more handsome that depicting in paintings of that era. His jaw line was pronounced, eyes sharp and features all very proportional.

[ Related: Richard III Announcement Spurs Excitement, Skepticism ]

In short, the Richard III Society believes that Richard's depiction as a twisted and malformed tyrant was wrong. He looked more like a Prince Charming or, sure, Robert Pattinson.

Dr. Phil Stone, Richard III Society Chairman, said:

"It's an interesting face, younger and fuller than we have been used to seeing, less careworn, and with the hint of a smile. When I first saw it, I thought there is enough of the portraits about it for it to be King Richard but not enough to suggest they have been copied. I think people will like it. He's a man who lived. Indeed, when I looked him in the eye, 'Good King Richard' seemed alive and about to speak. At last, it seems, we have the true image of Richard III - is this the face that launched a thousand myths?"

You see, Richard III is really not believed to have been a great guy in his time. The Globe and Mail writes, in a new editorial asserting Richard's poor standing:

Richard succeeded his 12-year-old nephew, Edward V, who was deposed after a dubious challenge to the validity of the marriage of Edward IV, Richard’s elder brother. The boy and his younger brother were moved into the Tower of London; they were never again seen in public.

Richard’s skeleton was found suffering from scoliosis, matching the description that he was slightly hunchbacked. The skeleton's hands were bound and he had suffered several wounds, including a cleaved skull and an apparent sword wound to the rear end.

That doesn’t mean he was a tyrant, but it does lend to a darker image than the glowing reconstruction now released.

After all, who could hate that face?