BOSTON — Britain’s possible future queen Kate Middleton has family ties to America’s most famous Founding Father and the author of its national anthem, according to a book released Wednesday.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston released a book on Kate Middleton’s ancestry that shows she’s an eighth cousin seven times removed of George Washington. She’s also a cousin of Francis Scott Key, who wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.
Among other notable relations detailed in The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton: Explorer Meriwether Lewis, World War II Gen. George Patton and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres all are distant cousins. For example, she’s DeGeneres’ 14th cousin twice removed. Middleton also is a 14th cousin once removed of her fiance, Prince William.
The genealogical society’s marketing director, Tom Champoux, said a lot of Middleton’s connections to famous Americans can be traced through seven families that immigrated to the Virginia area during the middle to late 1600s. There are likely “tens of thousands of everyday Americans” who are distant cousins of Middleton, he said.
He added that Middleton’s connections to DeGeneres and Washington are traced back to the United Kingdom, to the family line of Sir Thomas Fairfax, who died in 1521, and his wife, Agnes Gascoigne.
The famous names aside, the book shows Middleton’s ancestry is largely working class, unlike her fiance’s. It shows her relations include merchants, messengers, solicitors, cabinet makers, butchers, bakers, coal miners and a laundress. That makes Middleton easier to relate to, Champoux said.
“I see people understanding that there’s a similar background to their own family now, and that’s very impressive to them, to think that the future queen potentially has a similar family story to their own family story,” Champoux said. “It’s connecting in some way.”