Two centuries after the French people beheaded King Louis XVI and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, DNA analysis has cast new doubt on the authenticity of one such rag kept as a morbid souvenir.
The contents of a dried and ornately decorated gourd that is alleged to hold traces of the king’s dried blood has long been the subject of scientific disagreement, with tests throwing up contradictory results.
On Thursday, a team from Europe and the United States said they had sequenced the full genome of the DNA in the squash, and found that it was unlikely to be from someone tall or blue-eyed — both features ascribed to the 18th-century monarch.
“The results of these analyses do not support the royal identity of the sequenced genome,” the authors concluded in a study in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.
Read the full, original story: Blood in gourd not from beheaded French king, DNA test indicates