Head of Richard III reconstructed in four-hour operation based on DNA test results

By Culture24 Reporter | 10 March 2015

Head of king taken off display as facial reconstructor reflects likely DNA evidence

A photo of the reconstructed head of a king with blue eyes and blond hair
The new-look Richard III© King Richard III Visitor Centre
A facial reconstruction expert has spent four hours reworking the head of King Richard III, which was removed from display at the new visitor centre dedicated to him in Leicester after DNA testing at the city’s university suggested he would have had blond hair and blue eyes.

Professor Caroline Wilkinson, of Liverpool John Moores University, completed the new depiction under the watch of staff at the venue, guided by test results produced by Dr Turi King more than a year ago.

"It was a delicate task to remove the eyes and replace with lighter ones, as they are made of glass,” said Professor Wilkinson.

“The hair colour has also been updated, including eyebrows and eyelashes."

Iain Gordon, the Director of the visitor centre, said the experience had been “fascinating” ahead of the reinterment of the king’s body at Leicester Cathedral later this month.

“We are really pleased that we've been able to complete the work and put the head back on display in time for the reinterment," he added.

See Culture24's Top ten historical forensic facial reconstructions

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

More from Culture24's coverage of Richard III:

Archaeologists open coffin of elderly woman found near Richard III's grave in Leicester friary

"Like opening a tin can": The story behind the lead coffin found in Richard III's friary

Newly released film footage shows "eureka moment" when killer blow to King Richard III was found

Royal bloodline questioned as scientists conclude 529-year "missing person" search for Richard III

Gray Friars skeleton is last Plantagenet king, say Leicester team on trail of Richard III

Richard III body infected with roundworms, say University of Leicester archaeologists

Richard III DNA tests to reveal hair, eyes and diseases of the King

Bread Angel creates Richard III food range to celebrate Leicester archaeological triumph

Richard III: Archaeologist Claire Calver on the search for the King's body in Leicester

The DNA of a King: Dr Turi King on the genome sequencing of Richard III

Richard III to be buried in Leicester, High Court rules

Experts see Richard III's battle injuries as infirmary remains help create new skeleton

Richard III skeleton reveals his prodigious alcohol consumption and rich diet

"Compelling" new forensic evidence shows grisly sustained attack on Richard III at Battle of Bosworth

Richard III cortege journey route revealed as Leicester Cathedral prepares to bury body

In Pictures: The archaeology and science which identified King Richard III in Leicester

Leicester Cathedral reveals "distinctive" Richard III tomb "imbued with spirituality"
Latest comment: >Make a comment
I was pleased to see the great similarities between Richard III portrait in the National Gallery and the reconstruction but the portrait shows a face of longstanding anxiety and pain.
I also was a blonde curly headed child but grew into a dark brunette.
>See all comments
  • Back to top
  • | Print this article
  • | Email this article
  • | Bookmark and Share
    Back to article
    Your comment:
    DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted at www.culture24.org.uk are the opinion of the comment writer, not Culture24. Culture24 reserves the right to withdraw or withhold from publication any comments that are deemed to be hearsay or potentially libellous, or make false or unsubstantiated allegations or are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted.