There are two interesting scientific and historical discoveries this week. Researchers have identified remains from both French King Louis XVI and Henry IV. The discoveries began with a handkerchief found in a gourd found in Italy . . .
It was well documented that citizens collected the blood of both King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette) after they were decapitated by guillotine. Scientists were intrigued by a gourd with intricate carvings of figures from the French Revolution. Inside as a stained handkerchief. After taking a sample for a known relative of King Louis XVI, the scientists matched the DNA of the handkerchief as late of the monarch. It also served to confirm that the mummified head was that of King Henry IV, a relative of King Louis XVI.
King Henry IV king in 1589 after his predecessor, Henry III, was assassinated by a monk. Henry IV converted to Catholicism and took Paris in a siege. He was quite popular but he was also assassinated by a Catholic fanatic in 1610. Someone then cut off his head which was held privately until 2010.
By comparing the Y chromosome in both samples, the forensic team found that the two men were 250 times more likely to be genetically related than unrelated.
It is a bit chilling to think of someone first dabbing up the blood of Louis XVI and then putting it into a gourd honoring the leaders of the French Revolution.