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Are Meghan Markle and Prince Harry distant cousins from a long time ago?
Very distant cousins, but cousins nonetheless!
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might have only met a few years ago, but it turns out they are actually related. Following the news of their engagement in November 2017, some pesky royal fans dug up information on their family trees and discovered the connection. It turns out Harry and Meghan are actually cousins. Very distant cousins, but cousins nonetheless! Ralph Bowes was born in 1480 in Streatlam, County Durham, where he served as the High Sheriff. His family seat was Streatlam Castle and lived from 1480-1518.
He was both Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather. The ancestry goes back along the Queen Mother’s lineage on Prince Harry’s side.
Meghan’s father, Emmy-winning cinematographer Thomas Markle, can trace his line all the way back to an Englishman called Ralph Bowes. His estates, through a succession of males heirs, eventually passed down to Sir George Bowes, an MP related to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Elizabeth would later become the Queen Mother when her daughter became Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. The Queen became Harry’s grandmother when he was born 1984.
Meghan can trace her lineage back hundreds of years to when her ancestors first first arrived in America. Sheriff Ralph Bowe’s granddaughter married John Hussey of Dorking, Surrey. Their grandson, Christopher Hussey, moved to America in 1632 and helped to found Nantucket, Massachusetts. Mail Online reported that it was this line of the family that would eventually produce Meghan. Her German ancestors also have their own coat of arms, thanks to grandfather Gordon, husband of Doris, who was related to Abraham Merckel (1630-1698) of Alsace, France.
In fact, Harry and Meghan aren’t the only royal couple who are apparently already related.
It was also reported that Prince William and Kate Middleton are distantly related. Apparently an Elizabethan soldier named Sir Thomas Leighton is William’s 12th generation great-grandparent and Kate’s 11th generation grandparents. This makes them 12th cousins, once removed.