Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Study: Daisies sprout in King Richard I's heart

Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner, speaks at a news conference Thursday about the new conclusions surrounding the remains of King Richard I, known as Lionheart.

Associated Press

Philippe Charlier, a forensic medical examiner, speaks at a news conference Thursday about the new conclusions surrounding the remains of King Richard I, known as Lionheart.

PARIS — King Richard I, the 12th century warrior whose bravery during the Third Crusade gained him the moniker Lionheart, ended up with a heart full of daisies, as well as myrtle, mint and frankincense.

Those are among the findings of a French study, announced Thursday, that analyzed the embalmed heart of the English king who died in 1199.

The biomedical analysis also uncovered less flowery and spicy elements like creosote, mercury and perhaps lime in the heart, which was kept in the city of Rouen.

Despite the embalming ingredients, the heart turned to powder long ago, doubtless because the lead box cradling it wasn't airtight.

Study leader Philippe Charlier suggests the flowers and spices were to give the king the "odor of sanctity." The study came out less than a month after British archeologists uncovered the long-lost remains of 15th century King Richard III — a relative but not a direct descendant of Richard I — under a parking lot in Leicester, England.

Unlike that ignominious ending, Richard the Lionheart, leader of the Third Crusade, was ceremoniously laid to rest in three places. His entrails were interred in the central French town of Chalus, where he died in a skirmish with a rebellious baron; his body reposes at the Fontevraud Abbey, beside his father, Henry II, and later his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine; and his heart, wrapped in linen, pickled for posterity and placed in a lead box, was sent on to the Cathedral of Rouen.

The study was published in Scientific Reports, part of the Nature Publishing Group.

Study: Daisies sprout in King Richard I's heart 02/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pasco County man killed in wrong-way crash on New Jersey Turnpike

    Accidents

    MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. — Authorities say a Florida man driving the wrong way on the New Jersey Turnpike was killed when his SUV crashed head-on into another vehicle.

  2. No bond for suspect in Kissimmee officers' fatal shooting

    Crime

    KISSIMMEE — A suspect in the fatal shooting of two police officers in Florida will be staying in jail after a judge denied him bond Sunday, saying there was probable cause for his first-degree murder charge

    Officers Matthew Baxter, left, and Sam Howard, right, who were both shot and killed in Kissimmee, Florida, on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. [Kissimmee Police]
  3. Tampa police arrest 22-year-old man in July murder

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police arrested Sunday a 22-year-old man who detectives said shot and killed a Tampa man after an argument.

    Tampa police arrested Dejonta Felder, 22, in the murder of 32-year-old Julius R. Carter. [Tampa Police Department]
  4. The rise and humiliating fall of Chris Cantwell, Charlottesville's star 'fascist'

    Nation

    The white supremacists, nationalists and far-right trolls who starred in last weekend's violent Charlottesville, Virginia, rallies have suffered no lack of humiliation in the days since.

    White nationalist Chris Cantwell has had quite the week after being featured prominently in an HBO news program on the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. [Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post]