An academic and a screenwriter who were instrumental in the discovery of Richard III's remains have said the Queen was fascinated by their story.

The Queen presented writer Philippa Langley and historian John Ashdown-Hill with MBEs for spearheading a campaign to locate the Platagenet monarch in 2009, eventually tracing him to a car park in Leicester.

Speaking after the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, Ms Langley, said: "The Queen was fascinated by the whole project. She asked if we always thought he was buried in Leicester and I confirmed we did.

"I said once we'd gone into the research, the car park looked like a real possibility, it was a hypothesis, but a real possibility.

"She said 'Yes, to find a king in a car park is not an everyday occurrence'."

The remains were unearthed in September 2012, and they were confirmed as those of Richard following a wealth of evidence gathered from historical documents, skeletal details and DNA samples, which matched those of his distant living relatives.

A legal battle over where he would be laid to rest followed after a group representing his descendants lobbied for him to be buried in York.

Eventually the funeral went ahead at Leicester Cathedral in March, with the Archbishop of Canterbury and several members of the Royal Family attending.

Ms Langley said: "By finding Richard's remains, it's been the most powerful counterpoint to Shakespeare and Thomas More, who said he was the hunchback with the withered arm and the limping gait - and we now know it was a complete myth."

Ms Langley inaugurated the quest for Richard's lost grave when her ongoing studies into the monarch switched from his life to his death after she visited Leicester, following a suggestion.

The Scottish historian said: "I went along and it changed my focus 180 degrees because I'd been interested in his life and I was now focusing on his death and his burial."

She almost had a premonition that his remains were under the car park as she walked around what was rumoured to be his last resting place.

She said: "I had this experience where I just felt I was walking on his grave and that's what started my new research and that's where we found him."

Ms Langley, who is writing a screenplay about Richard's life, said of the project: "I'm just really pleased for what it's done for history, what it's done for archaeology, what it's done for science and also what it's done for Leicester - it's regenerated it. Lots of people are visiting Leicester and it's helping the economy."

Mr Ashdown-Hill played the crucial role of tracing the descendants of Richard's older sister, Anne of York, via an all-female line and also established earlier that the king's body had not been thrown in a river as had been believed.

He said: "It was from his eldest sister and her daughter and her daughter, and that was the real difficulty tracing it, as women change their names as they get married so trying to do a family tree forward over 500 years was a bit of a trick."

The historian knew that when archaeologists uncovered the full skeleton, they had found the king's remains.

He said: "We exposed the leg bone on the first day of the dig and about a week later they extended their trench and revealed the whole body, and as soon as I Iooked at it I was sure it was Richard III.

"You could see the injuries to the head and you could see the deformity of the spine, I was absolutely certain - I thought it can't be somebody else."

Also honoured during the Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony was Staff Sergeant Adam Marshall, from the Corps of Royal Engineers, who delivered a 100-bed Ebola treatment unit in eight weeks in Sierra Leone.

He was presented with an MBE for "demonstrating maturity and leadership far beyond his rank''.

SSgt Marshall's award came on the day that a hospital said nurse Pauline Cafferkey was in a "serious condition" as she received treatment for a late complication of the Ebola infection.

Ms Cafferkey, 39, who is from South Lanarkshire, was diagnosed with Ebola in December after returning to Glasgow from Sierra Leone via London. She had contracted the illness while working as a nurse at a Save the Children treatment centre in the West African country.

The soldier said: "Hopefully she'll make a full recovery."

Speaking about his MBE, he added: "It's very nice to be recognised and it's recognition for myself and my guys and everybody that deployed to Sierra Leone which was essentially a job I'd never done before and probably would never do again.

"It was unique in the circumstances and unique in what we were doing."