The Queen has revealed she was shocked to discover the remains of one of her forebears, Richard III, were found buried under a Leicester car park.

Her comments on the archeological dig came two years after the find was made at the council-owned site. She was giving out prizes to higher and further education institutions and wanted to know if the last Plantagenet King had indeed been found under there.

The revelation was made by Professor Sir Bob Burgess, vice chancellor of the University of Leicester, which made the discovery in conjunction with forensic experts at Dundee University. The Scottish team had carried out a facial reconstruction of Richard III based on the discovered skull. "The Queen wanted to know if the remains were really found under a car park, but generally she seemed well-informed about the dig," Sir Bob said.

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The universities were recognised for their work on the project at the Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education.

Caroline Wilkinson, professor of craniofacial identification at the University of Dundee, led the work, which used CT scan data from the remains to reconstruct a 3D bust version of what Richard III would have looked like. "The likeness was so strong that I had to do it three times just to make sure," she said.

Meanwhile, Stirling University was recognised for its work on the effects of the marketing of tobacco and alcohol on health