"The king was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, ending the Wars of the Roses and the Plantagenet dynasty."
London, May 30 - The skeletal deformity of King Richard III, who ruled England from 1483 until his death in 1485, was mightily exaggerated by Shakespeare, says a recent study.
Scans of the last Plantagenet king of England's skeleton show that he only had a slight deformity that would have barely affected his appearance or prowess on the battle field, Daily Mail quoted researchers as saying.
A 3D reconstruction of the king's spine shows 65-85 degrees of 'scoliosis', or sideways bending of his spine to the right, which means he was very far from being a hunchback, according to experts.
Examination of Richard III's remains show that he had scoliosis, thus confirming that the Shakespearean description of a 'hunch-backed toad' is a complete fabrication - yet more proof that, while the plays are splendid dramas, they are also most certainly fiction not fact, Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society, said.
The recovery of the king's skeleton from beneath a Leicester car park in 2012 gave scientists an unrivalled opportunity to investigate the legend surrounding the king.
Researchers conducted a detailed analysis of the skeleton's spinal column. Information from computed tomography (CT) X-ray scans and a 3D printer were used to create a plastic replica of the spine, which was photographed from nine different directions.
The new study was published in The Lancet medical journal.
The king was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, ending the Wars of the Roses and the Plantagenet dynasty.
His body was taken to Leicester by supporters of victorious Henry VII and buried in Greyfriars church, which is now the site of the council car park.