Kent

Richard III portrait goes on display at Hever Castle

Dr David Starkey Image copyright Hever Castle
Image caption Dr David Starkey said he was "delighted" the portrait was now part of the castle's collection

A portrait of Richard III has gone on display at Hever Castle - 567 years to the day he was born.

Historian David Starkey unveiled the painting which will sit alongside other portraits in the castle's Long Gallery.

The work, which had been in private collections for decades, was described by Dr Starkey as the "missing link" in Hever Castle's collection.

In 2013, the body of the deposed medieval king was discovered beneath a Leicester car park.

The painting of Richard has never been displayed in public before.

Image copyright Hever Castle
Image caption The painting will sit alongside Tudor portraits in the Kent castle's Long Gallery

It was painted in the late 16th Century and is believed to be a copy of an original painted during Richard's lifetime that has since been lost.

Analysis of the panel on which the portrait is painted suggests an earliest possible usage date of 1586.

Controversy surrounded Richard's reign, including the widely accepted accusation he murdered his nephews to become king.

He ruled for only two years before losing the Battle of Bosworth to Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII.

Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn - the second wife of Henry Tudor's son Henry VIII - has one of the finest collections of Tudor portraits in the country. It has been built up by owners the Guthrie family since they took over the running of the castle in 1983.

Dr Starkey, curator of the Long Gallery, said: "Richard III was the principal missing link in Hever's remarkable collection of historic portraits. I am delighted that the gap has now been filled by this intriguing picture."

Duncan Leslie, Hever Castle's chief executive, said: "It is an important addition to better tell the story of the Tudors, or rather how they came about."

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