Prince Harry and his American bride-to-be Meghan Markle may hail from different sides of the globe, but believe it or not the two are actually related.

The Royal family tree is crazy confusing at the best of times - even more so when they're all running about using different names (we're looking at you, Henry and Rachel) - but once you can get your head round the whole thing, it's pretty fascinating.

A genealogical investigation by the Mail on Sunday found out that the pair are related through a 15th-century English ancestor of the Queen Mother. That ancestor was the High Sheriff of County Durham Ralph Bowes, who was born in 1480 and whose family seat was Streatlam Castle.

According to this, he was both Prince Harry's and Meghan's great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather. That adds up to 14 greats, by the way, making them 15th cousins.

Okay, let's break it down, because so far it's all a bit of a headfuck. On Harry's side, the ancestry goes back along the Queen Mother's lineage, while for Meghan, it's through her Emmy-winning cinematographer father, Thomas Markle.

Prince Harry and fam. Credit: PA

Ralph's estates were eventually passed down to Sir George Bowes and Bridget Bowes. Fast forward a few hundred years on from George's days, and you'll find he leads to Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon - yep, the Queen Mother - then of course the Queen, Prince Charles and ol' Hazza.

Bridget Bowes, meanwhile, married John Hussey of Dorking, Surrey, and their grandson Christopher Hussey moved to America in 1632 and helped found Nantucket, Massachusetts. Skip through the generations and you eventually find Doris Sanders, Meghan's paternal grandmother.

If you've managed to stick with us this far (well done if so; we're knackered), this means that the engaged pair are cousins - very, very distant cousins, of course, but still.

Since this revelation, others have been desperately digging up mind-blowing nuggets from the couple's respective pasts. A new report from the Sunday Times claims one of Meghan's was beheaded by Henry VIII. According to the report, the great, great, great grandfather of Christopher Hussey (remember him?) orchestrated a plot to overthrow the monarch, and as a result Henry VIII bit back and beheaded him.

It's not the first time we've seen royals fish around in the blue-blooded sea, either. Earlier this year, travel website Expedia also revealed that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are cousins, sharing the same bloodline and are both directly related to Queen Victoria.

Like we said, fascinating stuff, once you've clambered around all the branches of the family tree - and been slapped in the face by them a few times.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist at LADbible. Jess graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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