Finding the Mitochondrial DNA of King Richard III

In 1468, Margaret of York, the sister of king Edward IV and of Richard, Duke of Gloucester – the future Richard III - married Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Apart from one brief visit to England, Margaret subsequently spent the rest of her life in Burgundy and Flanders. She endeared herself to her new people both by her kindness, and by her willingness to speak their languages, French and Dutch. She is, to this day, remembered with affection in modern Belgium, and the modern Belgian interest in Margaret of York is an important part of this story.

When her husband left her a childless widow, still relatively young, Margaret settled at the palace in her dower town of Mechelen (or Malines). Here she presided over the upbringing of her step-daughter, Mary of Burgundy, and later of Mary’s children and grandchildren. Only one wing of Margaret's Mechelen Palace survives today. But happily this surviving wing has recently been restored.

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