In Search of Lost Kings

Richard III car parkNicola here! Today I’m thinking about lost kings, by which I mean those monarchs whose bodies have vanished and whose current whereabouts are unknown. This may seem an odd thing to be thinking about (but you know writers – we think about all kinds of weird stuff!) but two things have put it in my mind. First there’s the ongoing debate about where King Richard III is to be re-buried after the sensational discovery of his body last year beneath a car park in the city of Leicester. The other reason I’m musing on lost kings is that much to my surprise, whilst doing the research for my current manuscript I discovered I’m actually writing about one – Frederick of Bohemia, whose body disappeared in the 1630s. More on Frederick later.

The archaeological dig to find the burial site of King Richard III last year fascinated people in the UK and far beyond. Perhaps it was because Richard has always been one of the most controversial of English kings, bitterly dividing opinion over whether he was a good guy or not. Perhaps it was also the fact that his death in battle and subsequent fate was the stuff of rumour and legend. Whilst the discovery could not throw any light on the biggest mystery of all that surrounds Richard – that of the fate of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower – it did reveal a wealth of information about the king himself, his physical appearance and the way in which he died.

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