The Princes in the Tower: Solving History’s Greatest Cold Case


The Princes in the Tower: Philippa Langley took the world by storm when, against all the odds and a seven-year investigation, she discovered the grave of King Richard III (1452-1485) in a Leicester car park. A king was finally laid to rest, and the rediscovery and reburial of Richard III were watched by an estimated global audience of over 366 million. Now, Langley reveals the findings of a remarkable new research initiative: ‘The Missing Princes Project’. In the summer of 1483, Edward V (aged 12) and his brother Richard, Duke of York (aged 9), disappeared from the Tower of London. For over 500 years, history has judged that they were murdered on the orders of their uncle Richard III. Following years of intensive research in UK, American, and European archives, astonishing new archival discoveries have been uncovered that change what we know about the fate of the Princes in the Tower. Established by Langley in 2016, ‘The Missing Princes Project’ employed the methods of a cold-case police inquiry. Using investigative methodology, it aimed to place this most enduring of mysteries under a forensic microscope for the first time. In The Princes in the Tower: Solving History’s Greatest Cold Case, Langley records the painstaking investigative work and research of the project. By questioning received wisdom, she and her team shed light on one of history’s greatest miscarriages of justice, revealing a phenomenal untold story.

Editorial Review

After pivotal involvement in uncovering Richard III’s burial, Langley focuses on the enigmatic fate of Edward V and Richard Duke of York in this gripping investigation, employing cold-case police methods.

Philippa Langley gained global acclaim for discovering King Richard III’s grave in a Leicester car park after a seven-year quest. Now, she unveils findings from ‘The Missing Princes Project,’ challenging the historical narrative surrounding the disappearance of Edward V and Richard Duke of York in 1483. With new archival revelations, Langley’s initiative employs cold-case techniques, redefining our understanding of this enduring mystery. In “The Princes in the Tower: Solving History’s Greatest Cold Case,” she documents the meticulous research, exposing a remarkable untold story and challenging historical injustice.

Other Editorial Reviews

Praise for The King’s Grave:

“A perceptive work that rights historical injustices.” ― Publishers Weekly

The King’s Grave tells two remarkable stories in alternating chapters.” ― The Wall Street Journal

“This is the year that Richard III rose up from his unmarked grave in a Leicester car park, and this is the book that describes the painstaking quest for the king’s body, and the battle that destroyed him. This book is about an important excavation indeed, of the body from a lost grave, and of a king from a long libel.” — Philippa Gregory, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“An exciting, engagingly narrated tale of the ‘search to discover the real Richard III.’ Compelling throughout, this unlikely story of a three-week dig in an obscure car park is simultaneously informative and enchanting. Langley and Jones include extensive family trees and a helpful timeline. Ricardians rejoice!” ― Kirkus Reviews

“The authors present two well-realized and complete narratives, both of which are accessbile and fresh. Taken together they form a popular history combining an intriguing mystery, the moving story of Langley’s personal journey, and a revisionist portrait of Richard.” ― Library Journal

“It is being called once of the most significant finds in archaeological history, shedding light on a king’s last resting place and solving a 500-year-old mystery over his death.” ― The Daily Telegraph

“The King’s Grave reveals the remarkable story of how the remains came to be unearthed. And the result is a compelling portrayal of one of this century’s most important archaeological discoveries.” ― BBC History Magazine

“Langley’s invaluable contribution to the investigation is undisputed; she envisioned, facilitated and drove it for years. Her confidential, breathy, diary-style chapters recreate the immediacy of the dig for the reader. Makes for compelling reading.” ― The Times Literary Supplement

“Reads like an up-all-night thriller. Archaeologists described the find as one of the most significant ‘in recent times’ and said history books will be rewritten.” – The Daily Mail

“Measured, reasonable, and elegantly written.” ― The Sunday Times (London)

The Princes in the Tower Solving History's Greatest Cold Case by Philippa Langley
Genre: Non-Fiction
Age Range: Adult
Start Rating: 4.2 stars
Publication Date: 19th November 2023

Author: Philippa Langley

Philippa Langley

Philippa Langley

Philippa Langley, a renowned historian and award-winning producer, gained global attention when she unearthed the burial site of King Richard III (1452-1485) in a Leicester car park. The discovery and subsequent reburial of Richard III captivated an estimated worldwide audience exceeding 366 million. Co-authoring her first bestseller, “The Lost King: The Search for Richard III” (initially published as “The King’s Grave” by John Murray in the UK and St Martin’s Press in the USA, 2013), with military historian Michael Jones, Langley also contributed to “Finding Richard III: The Official Account of Research by the Retrieval and Reburial Project” (2014).

Langley’s 90-minute documentary, “The King in the Car Park,” created in collaboration with Channel Four and Darlow Smithson Productions, became the network’s highest-rated specialist factual show in its three-decade history. Originating from her original ‘Looking for Richard Project,’ the documentary earned the 2013 Royal Television Society Award for Best History Programme and received a 2014 BAFTA nomination.

Her extraordinary journey inspired a major feature film, “The Lost King” (produced by Baby Cow Productions, BBC Films, and Pathé), directed by Sir Stephen Frears (“The Queen”) and featuring Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) portraying Langley. Released internationally in 2022, marking the ten-year anniversary of her groundbreaking discovery, “The Lost King” garnered acclaim.

In her latest endeavor, Langley, alongside Criminal Barrister Rob Rinder, presents the highly acclaimed feature-length Factual Special documentary, “The Princes in the Tower: The New Evidence” (Brinkworth Productions with Channel 4, PBS in America, and SBS in Australia). Premiered in the UK on November 18, 2023, the documentary is based on Langley’s innovative research initiative, ‘The Missing Princes Project,’ and her newest bestselling book, “The Princes in the Tower: Solving History’s Greatest Cold Case” (The History Press in the UK; Pegasus in the USA).

Langley’s groundbreaking work challenges historical narratives once again in both the book and documentary.

In recognition of her contributions, Philippa Langley was appointed an MBE by H.M. The Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2015. 


  • Philippa Langley: books, biography, latest update. (2023).

  • UK TVShows 2024. (2023). The Princes in the Tower: The New Evidence [YouTube Video]. In YouTube.

  • The Princes in the Tower: Solving History’s Greatest Cold Case: Langley, Philippa: 9781639366279: Books. (2023).

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