Richard III, the most famous hunchback in British history, was a brazen fraud who fought three major battles while claiming disability allowance, it has been revealed.
Historian Dr Jason Green, of Oriel College, Oxford, has uncovered documents showing the true origin of the hunchback myth. “Before becoming King, as Duke of Gloucester”, he explains, “Richard had to shift for himself, and money was tight. The range of illnesses open to the fifteenth century malingerer was a bit tough – you could try the plague, or leprosy, for instance, but the symptoms one would have to fake for these ailments could be messy, to say the least. Richard chose the simpler spinal curvature option. We may perhaps imagine him stuffing a pillow up the back of his shirt before heading out to milk the system”.
It has also been discovered that the authorities were onto the royal benefits scrounger following a tip-off that his disability was not genuine. But when they found out he had murdered his two nephews in the Tower and was about to become King of England, the plan to confront him with his fraud was shelved “pending further review”.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions commented, “This gives the lie to the stereotype of the benefits cheat as council-estate chav. People who defraud the system come from all walks of life. And they always get found out in the end, even if it takes five hundred years”.