A SKELETON found under a car park in Leicester is that of King Richard III, scientists have confirmed.

Archaeologist Richard Buckley said the tests proved the remains were the kings "beyond reasonable doubt".

University of Leicester deputy registrar Richard Taylor described the discovery as "truly astonishing".

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Archaeologists previously said there was strong circumstantial evidence to suggest the bones are those of the Plantagenet king but wanted to carry out exhaustive tests before making an academic decision.

The skeleton, with a metal arrow in its back and severe trauma to the skull, was exhumed in September last year during an archaeological dig.

It was found in the same area of what was Grey Friars church where Richard III was recorded to have been buried after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the last major act in the Wars of the Roses.

Initial examinations showed the bones to be those of an adult male and the remains were said to be in a good condition.

The skeleton had a curved spine, consistent with accounts of Richard III's appearance.

DNA taken from the skeleton has been analysed and compared with that of Michael Ibsen, a descendant of Richard III's family. Radiocarbon tests and genealogical studies have also taken place.

The king had close links with Middleham, near Richmond, and Sheriff Hutton, near York.

One of the team achaelogists from Leicester University who have spent several years researching the find is Philippa Langley, 50, originally from Darlington.