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800 tickets already sold for Richard III Visitor Centre

800 tickets have already been bought for Leicester's Richard III Visitor Centre Credit: Leicester City Council

800 tickets have already been bought for Leicester's Richard III Visitor Centre two weeks before it opens.

The new King Richard III Visitor Centre on Peacock Lane will offer access to the King's original burial site. It will tell the story of his death and his discovery 500 years later.

More than 100,000 people are expected through its doors in its first year of operation, bringing an estimated £4.5 million to the local economy.

Bosses at the £4 million attraction say they are pleased with the uptake.

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Shakespeare's Richard III was 'complete fabrication'

Paul Daneman played Shakespeare's Richard III in a 1960 BBC adaption. Credit: PA

Enthusiasts of Richard III have said a study examining his spine has shown the Shakespearean description of him as a "bunch-backed toad" is a "complete fabrication".

Scientists from the University of Leicester's School of Archaelogy and Ancient History produced a 3D reconstruction of the king's spine after his skeleton was found beneath a Leicester car park.

Dr Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society, said it is "yet more proof that, while the plays are splendid dramas, they are also most certainly fiction not fact."

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Study shows Richard III not 'hunchback toad' as thought

The remains of the last Plantagenet King were found under a Leicester car park Credit: University of Leicester

A study has shown King Richard III was not the "hunchback toad" described by Shakespeare, and was hardly affected by his spinal deformity.

Scientists who scanned his spine found that it had a "well balanced curve", that could have been concealed by clothes or armour.

Hunchback depictions have been seen on stage and on screen, but his head would not have been straight and not to one side, and no evidence of a limp was found. These findings are also supported by accounts written when Richard III was alive.

Dr Phil Stone, chairman of the Richard III Society, said:

Examination of Richard III's remains shows that he had scoliosis, thus confirming that the Shakespearean description of a 'hunch-backed toad' is a complete fabrication - yet more proof that, while the plays are splendid dramas, they are also most certainly fiction not fact.

History tells us that Richard III was a great warrior. Clearly, he was little inconvenienced by his spinal problem and accounts of his appearance, written when he was alive, tell that he was 'of person and bodily shape comely enough'.

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Richard III burial decision 'highly regrettable'

A mock up of Richard III based on research from the Society of Antiquaries. Credit: PA

The lawyer who spearheaded Richard III's descendants' legal challenge has described the High Court decision as "highly regrettable".

Matthew Howarth, partner at Yorkshire law firm Gordons, said his clients were now considering appealing against the ruling.

Mr Howarth said: "We obviously respect and accept today's verdict, and are grateful to have had the opportunity to raise this matter before the courts, but are naturally disappointed at the decision, which we regard as highly regrettable."

Work begins on King Richard III cathedral gardens

Work has begun on the King Richard III cathedral gardens in Leicester. The centre is located on the site where the remains of the former Plantagenet King were found buried in a grave in September 2012.

The centre is due to open later this Summer.

The High Court has ruled that the University of Leicester does have the rights to bury King Richard III's remain in the city's cathedral.

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Richard III court battle was 'waste of time and money'

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has blasted Plantagenet Alliance, the group who fought to have Richard III buried in York, for wasting taxpayers money.

He said he was pleased with the High Court's decision to rebury the King's remains in Leicester, where they were found.

He added: "I am frustrated and angry that the Plantagenet Alliance - a group with tenuous claims to being relatives of Richard III - have taken up so much time and public money."

Dean of Leicester: "A day to open the champagne"

The Dean of Leicester, The Very Reverend David Monteith, said:

"This is a day to open the champagne that's been sat in my fridge. Let's just rejoice that the judgement has come."

The Dean of Leicester, The Very Reverend David Monteith Credit: ITV News Central

University of Leicester: 'Work is undisputed'

The University of Leicester says its work is 'undisputed' after the High Court ruled the University does have the rights to bury King Richard III's remain in the city's cathedral.

This is a victory for common sense and justice and it upholds the norms and agreed practice for archaeological excavations.

King Richard III received a Christian burial in Leicester over 500 years ago and it is only right, now that the Church where he was buried has been destroyed, that he is reinterred in the Cathedral in the same parish with honour and dignity.

The fact that the University of Leicester discovered the King through the expertise of its archaeological work and subsequent scientific investigation is undisputed.

– University of Leicester spokesperson

The King's remains were discovered buried under a council car park in Leicester in 2012 by archaeologists.

City Mayor: 'It is now in hands of Cathedral'

The Leicester City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said:

"After the frustration of recent months it is now in the hands of the Cathedral to make proper provision for the re-interment of Richard III, and that his remains would be laid in a tomb fit for a king."

Speakers at the King Richard III press conference, including the city's mayor (pictured fourth from left) Credit: ITV News Central
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