A dramatic news story always makes headlines. Therefore, I was not entirely surprised when, several years ago, I saw a newpaper headline reading, ‘Richard III was a Blue-Eyed Blond.‘ Sadly, many people do not read beyond headlines, and completely missed the part that said ‘the blonde hair was probably only in childhood.’ (I never knew there was anyone out there who did not already think his eyes were blue or grey! Apparently I was wrong!)
A picture of Richard’s facial reconstruction with a limp blond wig still does the internet rounds on occasion (although in the Leicester Visitors’ Centre the wig’s colour has in fact been changed to a non-descript brown shade), and I still see people quoting the original newspaper article on various forums.
I have written on this subject before, but as they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.
Below is the colour chart of Dr Turi King’s DNA findings. You’ll note 2 out of the four examples show brown hair, not extremely dark but not all that light either. As Dr King herself said, the Society of Antiquaries portrait is probably the closest to his actual hair/eye colouring as an adult.