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King Richard 'driven to drink by pressure'

By Robert Dex

The pressures of power drove King Richard III to drink, according to new evidence uncovered in a documentary about the medieval monarch.

Researchers who carried out tests on his skeleton after it was unearthed from a council car park in Leicester in 2012 were able to reveal details about his diet.

The team, whose work shown in Channel 4 documentary Richard III: The New Evidence last night, also used a body double to prove Richard's curved spine would not have stopped him fighting in battle.

Analysis of his bones and teeth showed his drinking habits changed around the time he became king in 1483 and that during the last three years of his life he consumed a bottle of wine a day.

His diet also changed at the same time and included exotic meat including swan, crane, heron and egret. The study by the British Geological Survey, in association with researchers at the University of Leicester, is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Earlier this month it was announced Richard's body will be reburied at Leicester Cathedral.

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