Battle and bottle featured in Richard’s short reign

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Being King of a nation riddled with factions seeking to remove you from power would be stressful for anyone.

Perhaps it comes as no surprise, then, to learn that the pressures of power drove King Richard III to drink.

According to new evidence uncovered in a documentary screened last night about the medieval monarch, analysis of his bones and teeth showed his drinking habits changed significantly around the time he became king in 1483 and that during the last three years of his life he consumed about a bottle of wine a day. His diet also changed at the same time and included exotic meat including swan, crane, heron and egret.

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 and even where he lived at different parts of his life.

The team, whose work was filmed for a new Channel 4 documentary about the doomed king, also used a body double to prove Richard’s curved spine would not have stopped him fighting in battle.