Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Might Actually Be Related, According to a Family Tree

Could Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage get more complicated? Now, they might actually be related.

Alex West - Author

Apr. 15 2024, Published 9:40 a.m. ET

 Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speak onstage at The Archewell Foundation Parents’ Summit: Mental Wellness in the Digital Age during Project Healthy Minds' World Mental Health Day Festival 2023
Source: Getty Images

The British Royal Family is known for a bit of inbreeding in an effort to "protect" the family legacy. While it's not quite as clear, aggressive, or common in modern pairings, it wasn't uncommon to be wed to your cousin back in the day. Bringing in other members of the British nobility can help avoid the problem, but not completely.

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Prince Harry, though, did something unprecedented when he married American actress Meghan Markle. With the whole pond between them, it seemed unlikely that they'd actually be related, but there are some signs that there is a blood link between the two.

 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are seen during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023
Source: Getty Images
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Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle related?

Technically... a bit. The Royal family, by virtue, are all related to each other in some way. If you can trace your ancestry back to one of them, you'll be connected to the others.

In Meghan's case, according to researcher Gary Boyd Roberts at American Ancestors, her linage links back to Rev. William Skipper who was related to King Edward of III and 1st cousin several times removed of Margaret Kerdeston.

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"Because of royal intermarriage, Prince Harry is descended from Margaret Kerdeston in more than 240 lines, including at least four through King George III and four through Princess Diana," Gary explained.

In an effort to fully understand the connection between Meghan and Harry, the Daily Mail put together a detailed family tree which connects the two and concludes that they are actually 15th cousins.

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 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the swimming medal ceremony during day seven of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023
Source: Getty Images

Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle still royals?

While you can't change your official blood status, your place in the Royal family is somewhat subjective. Being born royal comes with certain innate responsibilities and jobs, including obligations to the public and charities.

Harry and Meghan assumed a more senior position in the family given Harry's close connection to the lineage, despite not being in line for the British throne. However, they formally stepped away from those jobs when they made a dramatic split from the family.

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In 2020, Meghan and Harry moved to Montecito, Calif. as they ducked away from the prying eyes of media and worked through a complicated relationship with Harry's family... which is still a work in progress. They came forward during an interview with Oprah about allegations of racism in the family.

Harry made some hard claims against his own family, implying that they didn't like Meghan nor wanted her to marry into the royal bloodline. The couple chose to step away from the others, which definitely caused a shakeup in their lifestyle and, somewhat, their royal status.

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 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the sitting volleyball final during day six of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023
Source: Getty Images

Their titles still remain and were never formally revoked, so they are still considered the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but are not addressed as his or her royal highness.

Meghan and Harry, while not obligated by royal status, are still involved in philanthropic endeavors, including the Archewell Foundation. "We believe in the power of community as a transformative solution for our collective wellbeing," explains their site.

The organization tackles a variety of issues like championing mental health, creating media to highlight diverse backgrounds, and supporting mothers who may need it.

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