India is the most populous country in the Commonwealth of Nations, so it’s only fitting that the future leader of the Commonwealth, Prince William – second in line to the British Throne – has a little Indian blood in his heritage. That’s right, Prince William, the future King of the United Kingdom, can trace an Indian ancestor dating back 200 years ago.
Here’s the full story, and newly discovered family tree.
The Indian lineage of Prince William is through his mother (the late Princess Diana), and is a result of the vast reach and influence of the East Indian Trading company back in the early 19th century. Prince William’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Theodore Forbes, left Scotland by ship in his early 20’s for the Bombay Presidency, to take up a position with the East Indian Trading company. He took residence in the bustling port of Surat, where he had at least 2 children with his housekeeper Eliza Kewark, who we now know from DNA testing, was at least half Indian.
The whole story was uncovered by the site BritainsDNA, who through advanced mitochondrial DNA testing, determined the Indian lineage. The daughter of Theodore & Eliza, named Katharine, returned to Scotland, and then went on to have a daughter named Jane, who had a daughter named Ruth, who had a daughter also named Ruth, who had a daughter named Frances. Frances was the mother of Princess Diana, the deceased mother of Prince William. Here’s the exact family tree:
It’s a pretty amazing story. Apparently the Indian lineage was originally kept hidden, out of fear that a ‘non-white’ blood line would hurt the family’s chances at good marriages in England and Scotland. But now we all know that the future King is (if my math correct), just shy of 1% Indian… not too shabby Will.