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Richard III

528 years after he died, Richard III is still making news.

If I may confess: I’m not a Shakespeare scholar. I love Macbeth but I’m not that well versed in Shakespeare’s other work.

However, I couldn’t help but think of Shakespeare last September when archeologists announced the discovery of what they thought was King Richard III’s skeleton beneath a parking lot in Leicester. The skeleton evidently showed signs of scoliosis (he wasn’t a hunchback). Battle wounds, still visible on the skeleton, matched those he was supposed to have suffered in the War of the Roses.

On February 4, 2013 archeologists announced that it was definite – the bones were those of the much maligned king.

Richard III, if you remember your history, was supposed to have been responsible for the deaths of the two princes locked up in the Tower of London. In 1674, during renovations to the White Tower, skeletons of two children were found beneath the staircase. In 1933, their graves in Westminster were opened and tests indicated that they were of the right age to have been the lost princes.

I couldn’t help but wonder if Richard III was feeling a little exposed at the moment. Then, my mind immediately sequed to Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. Two quotes seem particularly apt:

“Now is the winter of our discontent.” and “So wise so young, they say, do never live long.”

You know what I think is even more fascinating than finding Richard III’s skeleton? The man died in 1485. He’s 528 years old and he’s still making news.

What’s your favorite time in history?

Are you a Shakespeare buff?