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Richard III returns to Sudeley Castle….

Richard at Sudeley

Visit the following site to find out about Sudeley’s plans this year  for commemorating Bosworth.

You can also read about it at

There is a new example at Sudeley of how Richard may have looked. I think people will make up their own minds about it.

Richard III - Sudeley

Richard at sudeley again

photograph with notice from

The bust was commissioned by Lady Ashcombe and took three months to complete.


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28 thoughts on “Richard III returns to Sudeley Castle….

  1. halfwit36 on said:

    Good grief! Shirley Temple curls yet!
    In “The Mythology of Richard III,” which I am now reading, John Ashdown-Hill makes a moderately Big Thing about Richard’s recreated bust showing him with straight hair, when his portraits (none of which were painted in his lifetime) show slightly wavy hair. How does anybody know for sure? Quite likely, it might have been both straight and curly/wavy depending on the humidity.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Who made this bust and what was it based on? I don’t see any info about it on the linked pages?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kalina on said:

    I do not like this gay on the picture….brrrr. Richard had to be more comely:)))

    Liked by 1 person

  4. He looks like Steve Davis, the snooker player! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The hair is Restoration era and suggests or hints at a curling iron!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The facial reconstruction hair was too straight, this hair is too curly. It’s like Goldilocks and the three bears: the next one should be right?

      But why is everyone talking about the hair, I have much more of an issue with the face. What’s up with the nose? Why isn’t it more arched? Where are the cheekbones? And why is this supposed to be more accurate than the facial reconstruction based on his skull, in terms of features?

      Liked by 2 people

  6. viscountessw on said:

    All I know is that it was commissioned by Lady Ashcombe and took three months to complete. The actual artist doesn’t seem to be named. I’ve added a second view above, which shows that there is a notice with it.


  7. Kalina on said:

    This is the version of Madame Tussaud who made it without a study of the scull


  8. viscountessw on said:

    The new bust doesn’t fit Richard. It somehow softens and blurs, removing that ‘something’ that is unique to him in his portraits. TBH, the Sudeley likeness more resembles Henry Tudor! Just not as sour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that the bust doesn’t look like Richard. But it doesn’t look like Henry, either, other than the thin lips. He had very sharp and distinctive features, which this bust does not have – huge cheekbones, hooked nose, thin arched eyebrows, very bony face, similar to his mother.

      Liked by 1 person

      • viscountessw on said:

        Well, I was being a little facetious about Henry Tudor, because the one person it does not resemble is Richard. It could as easily be labelled ‘Henry VII’ by giving it reddish hair and his bonnet. To me, apart from the hat brooch, and being a pale bloke with longish hair, it says nothing Ricardian. And the down-turned mouth is too glum even for Henry. I think the dentures were forgotten! They were still in a glass by the royal bedstead.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. eustacie1558 on said:

    Well, frankly, I think friends of Richard III have reason enough to be thankful. None of the reconstructions I’ve seen to date looks really really scary. You might have had worse luck — like myself, being interested in the German emperor Henry IV, who lived from 1050 to 1106 (believe it or not, there is a bit of — interesting — history outside of England, only it’s not so well documented). Some years ago, they managed to reconstruct his head (proudly related) “form only three photographs” taken in the year 1900, when he was a tiny bit exhumed . Well, I was very exited and longed to see those recontructions as soon as possible … and had a hard time scraping my chin off the floor after I succeeded.

    They had made him look like a crazy Hun (no disrespect to Huns intended).

    Liked by 2 people

    • What’s with the crazy eyes? That certainly isn’t something you could see from an exhumed centuries dead body, or its photo!

      Liked by 2 people

      • eustacie1558 on said:

        Thank you for your reply. You caught my meaning exactly. It would have been so easy to do the same thing to Richard — to make him look sinister, aggressive, sly, guilty, haunted, you name it — in one word: evil. No one did any such thing. Maybe that’s not just luck on the Ricardians’ part, but a sign of their success, too (poor Henry IV, alas, has no friends at all, to my knowledge).


      • @eustacie: Well, they’ve been doing that a lot to images of Richard for centuries – just not the facial reconstruction! However, it is important that the facial reconstruction of Richard was made just on the basis of the skull, the people who made it didn’t even know whose skull it was and were only told later (when they added things like hair, clothes, hat, based on his National Gallery portrait). That is the best way to avoid being influenced by the popular image or any knowledge or misconception one may have about who Richard was or what he is supposed to have looked like. I’m guessing that whoever made the bust of Heinrich IV was trying to make him look tough and scary.


  10. halfwit36 on said:

    Well, they were cousins – not surprising if there were some family features in common. The high cheekbones seem to have been a Plantagenet characteristic. They show in the effigy of King John, for example.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. hoodedman1 on said:

    I think the Sudeley head looks like Rodney from Only Fools and Horses with long hair, lol! TBH, I can’t see much relatedness to either the early portraits or what I can (with a little knowledge, though admittedly only a little) deduce from the shape of chin, cheekbones and brow on Richard’s actual skull. I think that near contemporary description of Richard having a ‘short’ face was correct. Most waxworks and so on have added way too much length to his face. The earlier portraits do not show such a long face (compare to Edward’s) nor such a large nose…those seemed to be late additions to portraits that became gradually more distorted (along with humps and wrinkles.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Richard’s face on his skull and on the facial reconstruction (or his portraits) doesn’t look “short” to me. The only one who said Richard had a “short” or “small” face was John Rous, and I have no idea what he meant. It’s only “short” if you compare it to really long faces like some of his relatives and ancestors seemed to have – like George has on his portrait, or Isabel Neville or especially their daughter Margaret Pole, not to mention Edward III, who, going by his death effigy, without his beard and hair would have looked just like Rene from Alo! Alo! Richard’s face doesn’t seem “shorter” than Edward IV’s either, Edward just had a lantern jaw, but overall their face shape is rather similar except one is plump and the other thin.

      In fact, the only image of Richard where his face is “short” is this miniature by Rous drawn after Richard’s death which has a really comically short face with a big nose:


      • hoodedman1 on said:

        Standing beside Richard’s official recon, his face is less in length than mine by a bit and I’m female and not in any wise ‘long faced’.There is an interesting portrait of a less porky Edward which is owned by the Percys and in it he’s thin and I do think he does resemble Richard quite a bit in that one.


    • hoodedman1 on said:

      Haha, I think Anne and Edward of Lancaster didn’t fare all that much better than Richard. I wonder what Lancaster was really like; some say he appears on the Coventry Tapestry (Richard is supposed to be there as well) and there is indeed a slight resemblance of the pudgy Rous Ed of Lancaster to the tapestry ‘potential Ed of L’…but I would imagine it’s coincidental…


      • Yes, Richard is presented on the Coventry Tapestry – I first saw that picture in JAH’s book The Mythology of Richard III. This website has a PDF article about it with picture:
        They made him blond in this one, which is unusual, and they overdid the nose and didn’t make the chin prominent enough, but I think it’s obvious (look at the angle of the head, the position of the hand… ) that the figure was copied from the same original that the “Broken Sword” portrait was modelled on, and most likely from the original that the portrait in the Society of Antiquaries was copied from. It’s interesting to see how different all those versions are.

        I didn’t know that Edward of Westminster was on the tapestry, too. There are a couple of pictures of the tapestry online, which one is he supposed to be?

        When you think about it, most of these pictures were made by people who had never seen the people they were drawing, but they probably copied other portraits or miniatures etc. or at least used descriptions – so you get some idea about what facial features those people had, but everyone makes some changes and variations and you get a bunch of very different portraits.


  12. hoodedman1 on said:

    I had a card with the supposed depiction of Lancaster on it which I bought in Tewkesbury. Damned if I know where it is now and none of the web images I’ve seen are good enough to pick him out! His face is turned toward the right, he has brown blunt-cut hair and he looks a bit pudgy and tbh a bit gormless!


    • That’s interesting, because there was one chronicler who called him handsome – he wrote “it was a pity the prince died, because he was a handsome young prince” (which made me laugh – as if that was the priority, there’s no other good quality he could think to mention, and it’s not a pity if a not-handsome young prince dies). But knowing their standards of male beauty, who knows, a bit pudgy and a bit gormless may have been right up their alley.

      There’s another miniature drawing of Edward of Westminster in the Rous Roll where he looks prettier than in this drawing though his face is noticeably plumper in his image than the similar images of other men in the Rous Roll (Richard, George, Warwick), though not as pudgy as in that drawing with Anne and Richard, and he is depicted with blond hair, while Richard and George have brown hair.

      Liked by 1 person

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