IT’S not every day you get to track down a long lost king of England. But that’s what Professor Turi King, co-presenter of BBC Two’s DNA Family Secrets, did when she helped confirm that the bones dug up in a Leicester car park were the 530-year-old remains of none other than Richard III.
Turi will be lifting the lid on that and more long lost family secrets at Monmouth’s Blake Theatre this Saturday (October 14) as part of a national tour.
With the huge rise in DNA testing, we are now able to ask questions previously impossible to answer about our families, ancestry and health.
Professor King will reveal how DNA has revolutionised genealogy and forensics, helping us trace long lost family members, catch criminals and make remarkable historical discoveries.
She will reveal how your unique DNA identifies you and your family, how your surname can give you a glimpse into the lives of your ancestors and whether you really are who you think you are.
Professor King will also discuss how she led the team who cracked one of the biggest forensic DNA cases in history – the identification of Richard III, who finally met his match at the hands of Raglan Castle-raised Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
Richard’s skeleton was uncovered by archaeologists on the site of the old Grey Friars Priory in Leicester in 2012.
The dig pinpointed the location of his grave almost exactly, scotching century-old rumours that the body had been dug up and thrown into the River Soar after the dissolution of the monasteries.
Turi, who appeared on the Richard III: The King in the Car Park documentary about the discovery, then led the genetic hunt to fully establish the body’s identity, which was confirmed through a living descendant of Richard’s sister.
As well as DNA Family Secrets which is airing in a new series this autumn, she also presented Unearthed: Ancient Murder Mysteries earlier this year.
She’s recently appeared with Dan Snow on The Black Death on Channel 5 and with Lucy Worsley in Unsolved Histories about the Princes in the Tower, allegedly killed by Richard III. She also presented the Radio 4 documentary Genetics and the Longer Arm of the Law.
Family History with DNA Detective Professor Turi King is at the Blake on Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets £26 are available from the box office or via www.theblaketheatre.org