The Real Face of King Richard III

Countdown: 49 days to go to King Richard III’s reinterment. 

Two years ago today, a facial reconstruction of King Richard III was unveiled by Philippa Langley. It was commissioned by the Richard III Society and was presented the day after the confirmation at the University of Leicester press conference that the Greyfriars warrior found underneath the Leicester parking lot in August 2012 was indeed Richard.

To be honest, I’ve always thought this facial reconstruction made Richard look a little cross-eyed and his eyebrows are a bit scary — rather House of Lords-like, but they might be that way on purpose. Perhaps the eyes are supposed to look that way so when you are up close to it, the reconstruction looks like it is looking at you straight in the eye. Interestingly, one of the shoulders is higher than the other in keeping with Richard’s condition.

The reconstruction, in my opinion, shows that the Society of Antiquaries of London‘s portrait of Richard is more accurate than the National Portrait Gallery‘s version. It was recently announced that Richard likely had blond or light-coloured hair as a child and was very likely blue-eyed. Richard’s hair is certainly lighter and his eyes blue — or at least not brown — in the Society of Antiquaries’ version than the National Portrait Gallery one.

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