Prince Harry’s soon-to-be bride, actress Meghan Markle, has been discovered to be distantly related to England’s royal family, according to one of America’s top genealogical institutions. According to genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts, who is affiliated with the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Markle is a direct descendent of England’s King Edward III, meaning that she and Harry are, in fact, 17th cousins.
There has been a large focus on Markle’s heritage since the announcement of her engagement to Prince Harry — mostly because while the popular actress’s father is white, her mother is black. In great Britain, where 87.1 percent of the population is white and just three percent is black, newspapers and social media alike have speculated furiously on the implications of the country having its first “black princess.” But in an essay written by Markle in 2015 for ELLE Magazine, the Suits star noted that she has long rejected being labeled as either black or white. She also reflected on her great-great-great grandfather on her mother’s side, who had to choose a surname for himself after slavery was abolished in 1865.
“He chose the last name Wisdom,” wrote Markle. “He drew his own box.”
Read the full story at Harper’s Bazaar.