Sun, Jul 07, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Family tree of new British royal baby contains surprises

BLOOD LINES:Britain’s future monarch will share links with a street sweeper, a prison inmate and Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula

AFP, PARIS

Even before the birth of the new British royal baby to Prince William and his wife Kate, genealogists are looking into its family tree, and are finding surprises.

The baby’s relations will stretch from a Parisian actress via the Dracula princes in Romania, to an Islamic sultan from Spain, who descended from the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, experts say.

The family tree of the baby’s father, Prince William, is strongly tied to the European Gotha line.

There one finds, alongside all Britain’s kings, the sovereigns of Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Spain and a good number of German sovereigns.

On the side of the mother-to-be, Kate Middleton, on the other hand, most are commoners.

“William’s alliance with Kate Middleton really managed to democratize the baby’s family tree,” said the famous genealogist Jean-Louis Beaucarnot, who dissected the baby’s ascendance in this month’s La Revue Francaise de Genealogie.

The future king or queen of the UK will be cousin with a large number of his or her subjects.

The paternal forefathers of Kate, who is known as the Duchess of Cambridge, were relatively well off. However, “on her mother’s side she has largely working class ancestry from the English north,” Scott Steward, member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society said.

Her family tree contains coalminers, a linen maid, bakers and a London street sweeper.

One also comes up with Edward Thomas Glassborough, who was put behind bars in 1881 in London’s Holloway prison. The reason for his imprisonment remains a mystery to this day.

However, there are other surprises in the royal family’s family tree. Through Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, the line stretches back, according to Beaucarnot, to the princes of Transylvania and Wallachia in Romania.

That leads in the 15th century to the Princes Dracula. Among them figures the Voivode Vlad III, also known by his patronymic name Dracula, posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler.

Another discovery: a certain Hyacinthe-Gabrielle, an actress at Paris’ Palais Royal, brought to England during the revolution by the Marquis of Wellesley.

Via another French woman, a protestant noblewoman born in 1639 in France’s region of Poitou, the child will even be a cousin of late French president Francois Mitterrand, while her mother is related to the first president of the US, George Washington

The most astonishing discovery is a little-known ascendancy of one of its distant ascendants, the queen of France, Marie de’ Medici, descendant of Alphonse VI of Castillia, who died in 1109.

His wife Zaida, an Islamic princess who became a Christian, had as an ancestor, according to Beaucarnot, “a king of Seville considered a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.”

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