Our Dear Leader Tim Keck just passed by my desk and delivered an impressively long chunk of the opening speech of Richard III, replacing random nouns by saying "parking lot" in a robot voice:
Now is the winter of our [PARKING LOT] Made glorious summer by this sun of [PARKING LOT]; And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house In the deep bosom of the [PARKING LOT] buried. Now are our brows bound with [PARKING LOT]; Our bruised arms hung up for [PARKING LOT]...
So that skeleton they found just six feet under a parking lot in Septemberwas Richard III. The New Yorker reports that 140 journalists and camera crews from seven countries crammed into the press conference to hear the announcement. The Richard III Society, which devotes itself to rehabilitating the king's terrible p.r., is leveraging the moment by commissioning a reconstruction of the face, based on the skull, to "bring a human aspect" to the king we've always loved to hate. From Stephen Greenblatt's article in the New Yorker:
Even his birth had been a difficult one, and it was reported—though here the author of “The History” voices some reservation—that the newborn had teeth. In any case, he was, we are told, a particularly nasty piece of work: “Hee was close and secrete, a deepe dissimuler, lowlye, of counteynaunce, arrogant of heart, outwardly coumpinable”—i.e., friendly—“where he inwardely hated, not letting”—i.e., hesitating—“to kisse whome hee thoughte to kyll.”
The author of this splendid hatchet job was Thomas More, who would go on to write “Utopia,” and to lose his head at the hands of the second Tudor monarch, Henry VIII. More’s “The History of Richard III” was incorporated into the major sixteenth-century chronicle histories and thus, in effect, became the authorized representation of the loser of the Battle of Bosworth Field. At the end of that battle, the corpse of the vanquished ruler—the last English king to die in combat—was not given a royal funeral but stripped of his armor, strapped to a horse, and ignominiously hauled back to Leicester for a humiliatingly modest interment. The process of denigration had begun.
But it sounds like the process of denigration began before his body was even buried. From Science:
The skeleton sports 10 wounds, eight on the skull and two on the rest of the body. Two of the wounds were particularly severe, a large hole at the back of the skull where a halberdlike weapon sliced off part of the head and a smaller trauma on the base of the skull caused by a blade that penetrated the skull. "Both of these injuries would have caused almost instant loss of consciousness, and death would have followed quickly afterwards," Appleby said. Other wounds are probably the result of postmortem mutilation.