The Queen and Prince Philip are actually related to each other, and here's how

The Queen and Prince Philip are actually related to each other, and here's how

It has long been known that the British royal family doesn't have the most diverse gene pool, but it may still come as a surprise to some to learn that the current reigning monarch - Queen Elizabeth II - is actually a close relative of her husband, Prince Philip.

Their shared lineage goes back a few generations, with both of them being a direct descendant of Queen Victoria. We've known about this for a while but, after the travel website Expedia created an online tool to show how the Scandinavian and British royal families have been linked throughout history, the closeness of their bloodline became more apparent.

In order to establish exactly how closely they are linked, we first have to go back to February 1840 - at which point good ol' Queen Vic married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

The couple had nine children - four sons and five daughters - the eldest of which was Edward. He took over as king in 1901 after his mother died (at which point she was the longest reigning monarch ever), but gave up the throne in 1910 to his younger brother, George - who you might know better as Colin Firth in The King's Speech.

His son, also named George, took over in 1936 and - upon his death in 1952 - eventually handed the throne to Liz II.

This means that our current reigning queen is related to Queen Victoria on her father's side. Meanwhile, Philip is linked to the 19th-century monarch through his mother's bloodline.

Let's jump back again to 1943: the year in which Victoria's second daughter, Princess Alice, was born.

At the age of 19. Alice went on to marry Ludwig IV, the Grand Duke of Hesse and had seven children. The oldest child - named Victoria after her grandmother - eventually went on to marry one of her father's cousins, Prince Louis of Battenburg, in 1884.

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Princess Victoria then had a child named Alice (there's a pattern emerging here...) who, in 1903, married Prince Andrew of Greece. The couple had five children, the youngest of which being Prince Philip.

This means that Queen Victoria is Philip's great-great-grandmother through his mother's side. At the same time, the famously unamused queen was also Elizabeth's great-great-grandmother - but her paternal lineage meant it was she who ended up as the heir to claim the throne.

Technically, then, our current queen and her husband are third cousins.

This isn't actually all that uncommon, however, as ruling families throughout history have been encouraged to marry within their own ranks in order to keep the same royal bloodline going.

"In many countries, you would lose your right to the throne if you married a commoner," said Sandra Pearson at Expedia, "hence your choice was very limited and you most probably would be related."

Today, such practices are not as commonly practised - though it might shock you to know that even Meghan and Harry are very distant cousins. Still, with more and more non-royals marrying into the British monarchy, it means that the gene pool is finally becoming a little more diversified.

Oh, and on that note, if any of Prince Harry's hot cousins want to hit me up, I'd be more than happy to contribute my non-royal genes to the family lineage.