A 540-year-old mystery is being solved… This is how the facts about “The Princes in the Tower” appeared.

The city of Leicester, England witnessed a very important discovery on August 25, 2012. The tomb of King Richard III, who ruled between 1452 and 1485, was found under a car park.

News of the discovery and reburial of the king reached more than 366 million viewers around the world. What happened caught the attention of the whole world, but behind the scenes it was at least as interesting as what was in front of it.

Furthermore, the person who led to the discovery of Richard III was not an academic or archaeologist, but a writer.

Richard III

There was no evidence, but even historians agreed with it

The research initiative, dubbed the Search for Richard Project, was organized with the aim of busting myths that had been accepted as true for centuries regarding the fate of the king’s tomb.

It was widely believed that Richard’s bones were exhumed during the “Purge of the Monasteries” in the late 1630s, paraded through the streets of Leicester by a jeering mob, and buried near the River Soar. It was also claimed that in the following period the bones were dug up again and thrown into the river.

Although there is no evidence to this effect, the story has been accepted by major historians.

“What happened to Edward IV’s children?”

Within the scope of the Searching for Richard project, the focus has been on evidence-based research and analysis regarding King Richard III. Thanks to the new information obtained in this way, the door will be opened for the academic community and historians to make new discoveries.

Richard III’s bones were reburied on 26 March 2015. Speaking to a television program after the ceremony, writer Philippa Langley asked: “What’s next?” “The question that now needs to be answered is: What happened to the sons of Edward IV, namely Edward V and his brother Richard?” And he was giving the answer.

Langley was the leader of the Richard search project and was determined to uncover the fate of the princes in the Tower of London, where the king’s bones had been found. He believed that even small details could be the key to a big discovery if he asked the right questions, and he believed that a discovery that seemed insignificant at first glance could shed light on one of the oldest mysteries in history.

The life and period of Richard III’s accession to the throne is one of the most controversial periods in English history. Richard III inspired William Shakespeare’s famous play as well as George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” novels.

It attracted the attention of experts from all over the world

The Missing Princes Project, which was officially launched in July 2016, actually began in the summer of 2015. The three main themes that formed the basis of the research reached 111 in a short time. The project website was launched on December 15, 2015. After the opening of the site, the research team of 8 people exceeded 300 people in a short time, with the contribution of volunteers from all over the world.

Volunteers fluent in paleontology, Latin, and other European languages ​​wanted to support archival research. Police officers, defense experts, medieval historians and forensic anthropologists were among those who joined the group.

Within the scope of the research, we first investigated what happened in the days when the princes disappeared. Using forensic science techniques, it was determined where the princes were day to day, who they were in contact with and what they were doing before their deaths.

Their ages, physical condition, and interests were reviewed.

On the other hand, the available information about the princes was also reviewed.

Both children were boys, came from large families and were well known. Edward the eldest was 12 years old, but his physique was not as strong as his brother’s. He was interested in poetry and literature, and his face resembled his father’s. He looked like a child prone to depression. It is estimated that the approaching puberty and its changing circumstances had an impact on this.

Before he disappeared, he arrived in London for celebrations as the new King of England, then settled into the royal apartments at the Tower Palace. He was accompanied on both occasions by figures from church, state and society.

9 year old Richard was a cheerful, lively, healthy and very beautiful child. He was fond of music, dancing and singing. He was interested in archery and tennis. Unlike Edward, Richard lived all his life in London.

He had left Westminster to accompany his brother to the Tower Palace shortly before he disappeared. He was accompanied by dignitaries of church and state.

These cute children, both blond, were last seen playing in the gardens of the Tower Palace.

It was determined on the date of their disappearance.

Thanks to research, the time range of the children’s disappearance was determined to be July 18-21 – September 20. This process could have been extended until October 28. Researchers have discovered discrepancies between local accounts of the period and international sources.

A comprehensive analysis revealed an interesting fact. The first person to accuse Richard III of infanticide was Henry Tudor, the French claimant to the throne of England. This claim, made after the Battle of Bosworth, remained valid until the end of the Tudor dynasty, and the heirs of several families were questioned at that time. In their statements, these people rejected Tudor’s accusations and emphasized the possibility that the children were alive.

Forensic analysis of the post-Bosworth period found no evidence or witnesses to the murder. No trace of the children was found during Henry Tudor’s investigations in the north or in the Tower.

The most important document was found from the Netherlands archives

In the later stages of research, an important document was discovered. A plan was made to remove the princes from the Tower Palace without causing any harm. In other words, evidence is mounting that the children may not have died.

Edward V

Therefore, the investigation was expanded to include two claimants to the throne. The ages and descriptions of these people match those of the missing princes. Then documents were found showing that the princes were alive. The document date for the oldest is 1487 and the document date for the youngest is 1493.

However, none of them were as important as the document found in the Guelderland Archives in the Netherlands. The document discovered by Natalie Niemann Blickendall was a letter written by the youngest of the princes. In the letter, Richard described his experiences with verifiable facts and gave the names of people and places.

The time flow was created through his travels and battles

This created a complete timeline of what happened to younger brother Richard. Accordingly, Richard was taken from the Tower of London around 11 August 1483, and went to the Dutch island of Texel in 1495. He then invaded England and tried to seize the throne for 8 years.

As for King Edward V’s timeline… According to available evidence, Edward settled in the Channel Islands at the end of 1485, met Francis Lovell, Viscount Yorkshire, in April 1486, and was seen in Ireland in August of the same year.

Edward then went to the Burgundy region of France, returned to Ireland with his army of English and Europeans to be crowned in May 1487, invaded England and fought at Stoke Meadow.

The most important question: Where are their graves?

However, as the princes parted at the Tower of London around July 1483, it is not known what Edward did between this date and 1486.

Despite all these valuable discoveries, many questions remain unanswered. Langley said the process so far is the “first phase of the investigation.”

The aim of the second phase of the Lost Princes Project is to find answers to unanswered questions and discover the locations of the graves of Edward and Richard.

Compiled from National Geographic News with the headline “Exclusive: This is how you solved one of the greatest cold snaps in history.”

(Tags for translation)King Richard III

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