A BIOGRAPHY on England’s ‘White Queen’ written by a leading historian best known for his pivotal role in uncovering the burial place of King Richard III has been published.

Dr John Ashdown-Hill’s arduous research was vital in confirming the identity of bones found under a council car park to be those of the much-maligned king in 2012.

For John’s part in the landmark discovery, the academic was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours and made an MBE.

But the medieval historian sadly died last May at the age of 69 following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Before his death, John wrote a biography on Elizabeth Widville - known as the ‘White Queen’ - which has now been published.

A Pen and Sword Books spokesman said the book is about the enigmatic queen, who was related to Richard III.

He said: “Much of her life is shrouded in speculation and myth – even her name, commonly spelled as ‘Woodville’, is a hotly contested issue.

“Born in the turbulent fifteenth century, she was famed for her beauty and controversial second marriage to Edward IV, who she married just three years after he had displaced the Lancastrian Henry VI and claimed the English throne.

“As Queen Consort, Elizabeth’s rise from commoner to royalty continues to capture modern imagination.

“Undoubtedly, it enriched the position of her family.

“Her elevated position and influence invoked hostility from Richard Neville, the ‘Kingmaker’, which later led to open discord and rebellion.”

Throughout her life and even after the death of her husband, Elizabeth remained politically influential.

She proclaimed her son King Edward V of England before he was deposed and probably murdered by her brother-in-law Richard III.

He added: “Elizabeth Widville was an endlessly enigmatic historical figure, who has been obscured by dramatisations and misconceptions.

“In this fascinating and insightful biography, Dr John Ashdown-Hill shines a light on the truth of her life.”

John published extensively on many topics, focussing mainly on the Yorkist era.