On 26 June 1483, after declaring his nephews Edward and Richard illegitimate, Richard III became King of England. He would be the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantaganet dynasty.
Few kings of England divide opinion more than Richard III. Although he fought bravely in the Wars of the Roses, he was later vilified in Shakespeare’s play and persistent rumours about his involvement in the disappearance of his nephews, the infamous legend of the Princes in the Tower, means that controversy has raged over his reputation for centuries. Following the discovery of his remains in a Leicester car park in 2012, interest in Richard has reignited in recent years – only this week he was named top of the ‘History Hot 100’ poll.
So, was he as villainous as we are led to believe, or over time has he just been misunderstood? Here we consider the evidence for and against Richard III as a murderous tyrant...
“I really cannot say how proud I feel to be the Queen of such a Nation”Queen Victoria in her journal on the day of her coronation, 28 June 1838