- The princes are currently believed to have been killed by their uncle, Richard III
The Princes in the Tower may have escaped imprisonment and fled to Europe instead of being killed, bombshell new evidence suggests.
This contrasts with the current belief that the two boys, sons of Edward IV, were murdered by their uncle Richard III in his bid to get closer to the throne.
Shakespeare dramatises this theory in his famous play about the Machiavellian king, in which Richard sends orders for his young relatives to be killed in the Tower of London.
Amateur historian Philippa Langley, who is credited with finding Richard’s remains under a Leicester car park, has now revealed a set of ‘extraordinary discoveries’ to support her theory that the princes escaped, according to The Telegraph.
She believes that a pair of boys dismissed as pretenders to the throne – Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck – were the real princes. These boys each initiated failed attempts to depose Henry VII near the end of the 15th century.
The Princes in the Tower (pictured) may have escaped imprisonment and fled to Europe instead of being killed, bombshell new evidence suggests
The two princes vanished from record in 1483 after being taken to the Tower of London.
Human remains found under a staircase at the Tower in the 17th century were identified as the princes and transported to Westminster Abbey. They were never DNA tested.
Ms Langley said documents pulled out in European archives point to the princes’ escape and later bids to invade England.
One piece of evidence is a seeming witness statement by Richard, the youngest of the two princes, who was nine when he vanished.
Written ten years later, the author recalls being taken from the Tower by Henry and Thomas Percy.
‘They shaved my hair and put a poor and drab shirt on me and we went to St Katharine’s [dock],’ the document reads.
In Shakespeare’s play Richard III, the Machiavellian royal sends for his two nephews to be killed in the Tower of London (pictured) in a bid to get closer to the throne
The account then says they took the boat to get to Boulogne-sur-Mer, before travelling to Portugal.
Experts have authenticated it as being written during that period.
Another document, dating back to 1483, which appears to bear the signature of ‘Richard, Duke of York’, says that Richard will pay 30,000 florins to Duke Albert of Saxony within a few months of landing the English throne.
Philippa Langley and Rob Rinder front the new Princes in the Tower documentary by Channel 4.
The evidence is revealed in a Channel 4 documentary, The Princes in the Tower: The New Evidence, which will be broadcast on Saturday.