Facial reconstruction of Richard III shows how the English king might have looked
Facial reconstruction of Richard III shows how the English king might have looked

King Richard III's debaucherous lifestyle revealed

HIS daily diet included crane and egret, washed down with a bottle of wine.

The reign of Richard III only lasted two years but the king used that time to indulge a secret passion for the finer things in life, according to new research.

The monarch, depicted by William Shakespeare as a Machiavellian villain who murdered his way to the throne, enjoyed a debauched lifestyle of feasting and heavy drinking.

After ascending to the throne in 1483, he consumed copious amounts of wine and an array of rich food including exotic meats, freshwater fish such as pike, and birds such as swan and heron.

The findings of the research by experts from the British Geological Survey and the University of Leicester are shown in a new documentary, Richard III: The New Evidence.

Richard III's reign was cut short when he died during the Battle of Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485. More than 500 years later, in 2012, his remains were found under the site of a car park in Leicester.

The discovery enabled researchers to conduct 21st-century scientific tests to reveal new insights into his life. Isotope analysis of bone and tooth samples was used to measure the levels of certain chemicals, such as strontium, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon and lead, which relate to geographical location, pollution and diet.

In a paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science today, researchers state: "Variations in Richard III's diet can be traced through his life using carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions."

The results of the analysis demonstrated a shift to "an increased proportion" of freshwater fish and wildfowl "in the latter part of his life".

The documentary shows a modern-day body double for the English king, 27-year-old Dominic Smee, from Staffordshire, who demonstrates that Richard III's curved spine would not have stopped him from being able to fight and ride in battle. Smee has a virtually identical curvature of the spine and a similar build to the dead king.


Emerald misses out on the classic democracy sausage

Premium Content Emerald misses out on the classic democracy sausage

It’s a quiet day at polling booth’s across the Central Highlands, with many...

Democracy sausage: Here's where to get yours

Democracy sausage: Here's where to get yours

Map shows where you can get your election democracy sausage

Who are Clive Palmer’s CQ candidates?

Premium Content Who are Clive Palmer’s CQ candidates?

A young political novice, a golf director, and a sometime flight attendant are on...