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DNA test of skeleton of King Richard III raised questions over succession in British monarchy

Dec 4, 2014 18:43 IST

Scientists at University of Leicester in a DNA test conducted on skeleton of King Richard III found that the male line of descent was broken at one or more points. The lineage was broken between Richard III and Henry Somerset, 5th Duke of Beaufort (1744-1803).

The study related to this was published in the latest issue of Nature Communications and the study was led by Turi King of Leicester University.

The researchers said that the study has provided scientific evidence for the first time of a possible question mark over medieval lines of succession in the monarchy.

In the study, the paternity tests on the DNA of a living male-line descendant of Richard III’s royal lineage have failed to match. Researchers said that this discovery points to some royal person being born on the wrong side.

The study found that there were 19 links in that chain, so there is an equal probability of any one of those 19 being broken.

However, the DNA test passed on exclusively through the maternal line, and matches precisely with two female-line descendants alive today. These two descendants are 14th cousins twice removed from Richard III.

About King Richard III

King Richard III born on 2 October 1452 was King of England from 1483 until his death on 22 August 1485. He died in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty.

His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England.

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