Family tree reveals that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are 'related'

Family tree reveals that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are 'related'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are everyone's favourite couple right now, and with rumours that they're looking set to tie the knot sometime next year, they're hot on our lips and in the gossip columns. However, while the two were raised two worlds apart, it turns out that they might have more in common than it seems.

Harry was raised in Kensington Palace and is the son of the Prince of Wales and the grandson of the Queen. Meghan, on her part, was born 5,500 miles away in sunny California and was the daughter of parents who worked within the film industry.

But in a genealogical survey conducted by the Mail on Sunday, it has been revealed that the couple are in fact distant cousins, with them being related through a late 15th Century ancestor of the Queen Mother. Meghan's connection to the family comes through her father, Thomas Markle, an Emmy-winning cinematographer, and his ancestors.

Meghan's grandmother Doris Markle may have worked in a local discount shop, but her family origins are much more auspicious. The family's heritage can be traced back to an Englishman called Ralph Bowes, who was Meghan's ancestor from 15 generations ago. Bowes was a High Sheriff of County Durham, whose family seat was Streatlam Castle which featured an extensive estate.

Bowes' granddaughter, Bridget, became a wife to John Hussey, of Dorking, Surrey. His grandson, Christopher Hussey, moved to America in 1632, helping to found Nantucket, Massachusetts, and it is this line of the family that would eventually give birth to Meghan in 1981.

However, back in England, the Bowes Estate and Streatlam Castle continued to be passed down from generation to generation through a succession of male heirs. After a couple of centuries, the direct line to Prince Harry begins when the estate and castle are passed down to Sir George Bowes, an MP.

After his first wife died childless, George's second wife gave birth to Mary Bowes, who married John Lyon - the 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne in 1767.

John Lyon added Bowes to his name, which was a strict condition of inheriting the castle and the surrounding estates, and the Bowes-Lyon dynasty was formed. Five generations down the line, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the Duke of York, who would go on to become George VI.

In time, Elizabeth would go on to become the Queen Mother when her daughter - also called Elizabeth - took the throne in 1952, and she has remained ever since. That Elizabeth is Harry's grandma, and thus, we are at the end of the extensive tree.

It's a crazy coincidence and will no doubt make for a funny subject matter for the couple to talk about, as well as forming the basis of a fantastic best man speech. While it's pretty mad that the two are related in a very distant way, it's still a world away from the "I'm having sex with my cousin" storylines you are likely to see on the Jerry Springer Show.