The mtDNA of the so-called 'Princes in the Tower' (King Edward V and his brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York) should be identical to that of their female-line niece, Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk (see TABLE 2).
Several locks of Mary Tudor's hair were cut off when her tomb was opened in the 18th century. One lock of Mary's hair is preserved in Moyses Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds (See IMAGES). The museum authorities gave permission for a few strands of this hair to be tested for mtDNA, but sadly it proved impossible to open the Bury St Edmunds locket, which had been soldered to seal it.
A second locket containing a very well preserved lock of Mary Tudor's hair, has now been located and an attempt will be made to test a sample from this new lock of hair (watch this space).
In addition work is in progress on a female-line table of descendants of Jacquette de St Pol, Duchess of Bedford and Countess Rivers (the maternal grandmother of the princes). All her female line descendants shouyld have mtDNA identical to that of the 'Princes'. So far the family tree has been traced to the mid eighteenth century.