When you're famous and when you're royal, historians and regular people alike tend to enjoy digging deep into your family history. Since the early days of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's relationship, genealogists have been having a field day mapping out the actress' family tree. With the most spectacular timing, just as the couple announced their engagement, it has been discovered that Harry's 14th great-uncle ordered one of Markle's ancestors to be beheaded. Awkward.
According to the Telegraph, Australian historian Michael Reed traced Markle's family all the way back to John Plantagenet, King of England in the 12th century — so, take that, snobs who want to call her a commoner. Other genealogists have already found that the two lovebirds are also cousins through a man named Ralph Bowes, the high sheriff of County Durham, who was born in 1480. That's enough generations back not to be too icky, we presume.
Reed's revelation, however, points to the fact that another Plantagenet descendant, John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, was a knight, diplomatic envoy and chamberlain to King Henry VIII's daughter Mary. His fate soured later following a rebellion against the king, and Hussey was sent to the Tower and executed for treason. Henry VIII's sister, Margaret Tudor, is Prince Harry's 14th great-grandmother.
As star-crossed lovers go, this could be worse. In the days when royal marriages were arranged for political benefit, princes and princesses often had to join forces with their families' former enemies. Then consider the fact that these genealogists are looking at Markle's European ancestors. Who out there is going to look into what role the English nobility played in facilitating the kidnapping and enslavement of Markle's African ancestors? Yeah, that is a real mood killer.
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