Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged, and as excitement for the wedding abounds, people are looking more into Markle’s background and finding interesting connections all over the place.
For example, amateur historian Michael Reed found that Markle has royal ancestry, noting that one of her English ancestors was beheaded by none other than King Henry VIII.
According to Reed, Lord John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, was the great-great-great-grandfather of Captain Christopher Hussey, who left England in the 1650s and was one of the founders of Nantucket.
Ten generations later, Markle’s father was born, to the American offshoot of the Hussey line.
Markle’s great uncle, Mike Markle, had previously done research to find that one of her paternal great-great-great-grandmothers was a 19th-century New Hampshire landowner named Mary Hussey Smith, a descendant of Lord Hussey.
On Markle’s mother’s side, the story is quite different. Her great-great-great grandfather on her mom’s side was enslaved on a plantation until 1865, when slavery was abolished.
“It’s incredible that Meghan’s great-great-great maternal grandfather was a slave and the other great-great-great paternal grandmother was a New Hampshire landowner, who had royal blood,” Reed told UK newspaper The Telegraph.
What’s more, The Telegraph reported that it’s possible Markle and Prince Harry share an ancestor, High Sheriff of County Durham Ralph Bowes, born in 1480.
And a distant relative of Markle’s believes another of Markle’s ancestors may have dealt with royalty, claiming that her paternal great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Bird, once worked at the royal palace.