Richard III ‘drank a bottle of wine a day’
18th August, 2014 by Lucy Shaw
King Richard III drank up to a bottle of wine a day to cope with the pressures of leadership, recent research has found.
As reported by the BBC, an analysis of the monarch’s teeth and bones found that he drank up to three litres of wine a day in the last years of his life.
Conducted by the British Geological Survey and University of Leicester, the study also found that the king ate exotic meat such as swan, crane, heron and egret.
Samples were taken from a femur, rib and tooth after his remains were unearthed from beneath a car park in Leicester in 2012 and their levels of strontium, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon and lead were analysed.
Geochemist Angela Lamb of the University of Leicester believes Richard III’s diet was “far richer” than other nobles in the late medieval period.
“There was a lot of wine indicated at those banquets and tying all that together with the bone chemistry it looks like this feasting had quite an impact on his body in the last few years of his life,” Lamb said.
The study also revealed that the King’s wine consumption increased significantly after he ascended to the throne 1483. Described by Shakespeare as a “poisonous bunchback’d toad”, he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485.
Richard III isn’t the only royal with a penchant for a tipple – King Henry VIII spent the modern day equivalent of £900,000 a year topping up his wine cellar.
Queen Victoria meanwhile, was known to drink claret with a splash of whiskey in it while our Queen enjoys a glass of gin and Dubbonet every day before lunch.