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Mon Sep 24, 2012, 09:12 AM

Richard III: 'When I saw the skull, the hair on the back of my neck stood up'


Men dressed as medieval knights pose at the Leicester car park where the remains of Richard III are believed to have been found. Photograph: Gavin Fogg/AFP/Getty Images

As far as Diana Thompson is concerned, the matter is beyond question. She hung a white boar flag from her front window the day she heard archaeologists had found the bones of a man with a twisted spine in a scruffy car park near her home in Leicester.

Sceptics may scoff, and results of an attempt to extract DNA and match it to descendants are not due until Christmas, but Thompson is adamant that the bones now resting in a safe in the archaeology and ancient history department of Leicester University are those of the last Plantagenet, Richard III, who rode out of Leicester on the morning of 22 August 1485 a king, and came back a naked corpse slung over the pommel of a horse.

"I've always been for Richard I had to be, I went to the Richard III School for Girls. I know it is him and I can tell you who did the wicked deed, it was Henry Tudor, without a shadow of a doubt, that's who killed him."

Like thousands of local residents who queued around the block on the final open day, Thompson wanted a last look at the hole in the ground where the remains were found. This week, the mounds of soil and stone will be refilled, the blue plastic fencing will come down, and the cars will return.

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