Such was the certainty with which a twisted skeleton found in a Leicester car park was identified last year as the remains of Richard III that a High Court battle is being fought over the right to decide where to bury the fallen monarch.

But confirmation “beyond reasonable doubt” that the hunchbacked king demonised by Shakespeare was found has been challenged by two leading academics, who claim there can be no confidence that the bones belong to Richard. They suggest an inquest-type hearing should now be held to examine the evidence.

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