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A crown fit for a king
A HISTORIAN who helped find the remains of King Richard III is having a crown created for the monarch.
Medieval expert Dr John Ashdown-Hill was instrumental in finding the maverick king, buried beneath a car park in Leicester.
It was his book, The Last Days of Richard III, which sparked the search for his body in the choir of the lost Church of the Grey Friars.
Over years, Dr Ashdown-Hill also traced the female bloodline of Richard’s aunt and sister to find a living descendant, Michael Ibsen.
And it was Mr Ibsen’s DNA which was used to confirm the identity of the bones.
Dr Ashdown-Hill, who studied for a PhD at the University of Essex, carried the cardboard box containing the king’s skeleton from its resting place.
He said: “It was covered with a Royal standard but I thought ‘He doesn’t have a crown’.”
Now he has commissioned a jeweller who is a specialist in medieval reproduction to make a crown for the infamous hunchback monarch’s reburial.
Dr Ashdown-Hill, who lives in Lawford, said: “It is my gift to him.
“I feel close to him. I have studied him for 25 years and I have held him in my arms.
“We know Richard had a crown which he wore over his helmet at the Battle of Bosworth.
“It was thrown into a hawthorn bush and then used to crown Henry VII.
“So he ended up without one. I want to give him one back.”
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