35 celebrities you didn’t know were related to royals

thandie newton

Thandiwe Newton. Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

  • Thandiwe Newton is a Zimbabwean princess.

  • Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are distant cousins of Queen Elizabeth.

  • Ozzy Osbourne may be the Prince of Darkness, but he’s also related to the last tsar of Russia.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Thandiwe Newton is a Zimbabwean princess.

Thandie Newton

Thandiwe Newton. Getty Images

Newton is the daughter of a Zimbabwean princess, which makes her a princess as well according to Shona custom.

In an interview with British Vogue for the May 2021 issue, Newton, who has previously been credited as Thandie Newton, announced that she was reclaiming the true spelling of her name, Thandiwe, which means “beloved” in Shona.

“That’s my name,” she said. “It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine.”

Paris Hilton said she is a 20th cousin of the Queen through King Henry II. She’s also related to Marilyn Monroe.

paris hilton

Paris Hilton. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

On her father’s side, Hilton is a descendant of King Henry II, who ruled from 1154 to 1189.

“When I was a baby, a psychic told my grandmother that I was going to be one of the most famous and photographed women in the world one day,” Hilton told Cosmopolitan in 2020. “Other psychics have said I’m related to Marilyn Monroe and things like that. My mom just did one of those 23andMe DNA kits and I am related to Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth.”

Actress Hilary Duff is an 18th cousin of Queen Elizabeth, according to a genealogy study.

hilary duff

Hilary Duff. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

According to CBS News, Duff is related to Alexander Spotswood, the 10th great-grandson of Edward III. Spotswood, who lived from 1676 to 1740, was an officer in the British Army and the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

In 2012, Duff was dubbed the “Most Royal Celebrity” in the US in a study by genealogists for FindMyPast.com.

Kit Harington and his wife, Rose Leslie, have royal blood in real life – they’re actually distantly related to each other.

Kit Harington and Rose Leslie Red Carpet 2016

After the couple announced their engagement in 2017, eagle-eyed Twitter fans noticed they were both related to King Charles II. Harington’s royal connection is through his grandmother, Lavender Cecilia Denny, and Leslie’s through her mother, Candida Mary Sibyl Leslie.

Actor Ralph Fiennes is a distant cousin of Prince Charles.

ralph fiennes

Ralph Fiennes. John Phillips/Getty Images

According to the Financial Times, they are eighth cousins. They are related through James II of Scotland, who ruled during the 1400s.

Tilda Swinton is the direct descendant of Scottish royalty.

tilda swinton isle of dogs

Tilda Swinton. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Swinton traces her lineage to Scottish king Robert the Bruce, Edinburgh researchers discovered in 2009. Robert battled Edward I for control of Scotland as popularized in the film “Braveheart.”

Actress Brooke Shields is the Queen’s 18th cousin, once removed.

Brooke Shields

Brooke Shields. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Shields traces her Royal lineage through French royalty before English, according to the FindMyPast.com study. She is a descendant of King Henry IV of France, who was assassinated in 1610. The common ancestor she shares with the Queen is John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and son of England’s Edward III.

Before she married Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was already distantly related to the royal family.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle. Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, she is a direct descendant of King Edward III, who ruled from 1327 until 1377, which makes her and Prince Harry 17th cousins.

Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister, Maggie, are reportedly 19th cousins to the Queen.

jake gyllenhaal maggie gyllenhaal

Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Jason Merritt/Getty Images

They traced their lineage back to King Edward III, who ruled from 1327 until 1377, according to CBS News.

Michael Douglas is the Queen’s 19th cousin, once removed.

michael douglas

Michael Douglas. Rich Fury/Getty Images

Douglas’ common ancestor is also King Edward III.

Ellen DeGeneres is the Queen’s 19th cousin, twice removed, through King Edward III.

ellen degeneres

Ellen DeGeneres Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

According to the New England Genealogical Society, DeGeneres is also 15th cousins with the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton through Sir Thomas Fairfax and his wife, Agnes Gascoigne, who were both born in the 1400s.

Laura Dern is the Queen’s 19th cousin, three times removed.

Laura Dern

Laura Dern. Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

Dern is also related to Edward III.

Benedict Cumberbatch played his own ancestor King Richard III.

benedict cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch. Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

The “Sherlock” actor played the 15th-century king in a BBC adaptation of Shakespeare’s “War of the Roses” plays called “The Hollow Crown.”

Genealogists said they are second cousins, 16 times removed, the Guardian reported.

Johnny Depp may be a 20th cousin of Queen Elizabeth.

johnny depp

Johnny Depp. John Phillips/Getty Images

Dr. Nick Barratt, a genealogist with “Who Do You Think You Are?,” established a possible connection between Depp and the royal family.

“When I examined Johnny’s history I discovered a likely connection to the royal family. I’ve since established the family tree that demonstrates how. You have to go back more than 500 years to reach the point where his ancestors become royal,” Dr. Barratt said in 2012.

British actor Hugh Grant is a 9th cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth.

hugh grant

Hugh Grant. Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Grant could trace his lineage back to King Henry VII of England and King James IV of Scotland, according to the Radio Times. Grant is also distantly related to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton.

Kyra Sedgwick is reportedly a 21st cousin, twice removed, of the Queen …

kyra sedgwick emmys 2010

Kyra Sedgwick. Chris Carlson/AP Photo

Sedgwick is related to the monarch through King Henry III, who ruled in the 13th century, according to FindMyPast.com.

… while Uma Thurman is a 21st cousin, once removed.

Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Their shared ancestor is King Edward I, who ruled from 1272 to 1307.

Both Madonna and Guy Richie have royal connections of their own.

madonna guy ritchie

Madonna and Guy Richie. Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the former couple both have royal relatives.

Madonna is a 9th cousin, once removed, of the Duchess of of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles. Meanwhile, Richie is 6th cousins with the Dutchess of Cambridge and was invited to her wedding to Prince William.

Beyoncé isn’t just Queen Bee, she’s also 25th cousins, once removed, with the actual Queen of England.


Beyoncé. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Beyoncé traces her royal roots through Louisiana, Acadia, and back to the French. According to FindMyPast.com, the common ancestor she shares is King Henry II, who was Queen Elizabeth’s 24th great-grandfather.

Elle Fanning may have played a princess, but she and her sister Dakota are direct descendants of King Edward III.

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Elle and Dakota Fanning. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Edward III reigned during the start of the Hundred Years’ War. The sisters are also 21st cousins of the Duchess of Cambridge, according to Ancestry.com.

Actress Allison Janney is the Queen’s 22nd cousin, once removed.

Allison Janney

Allison Janney. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The Academy Award-winning actress and the Queen are related through Edward I, who was England’s king between 1272 and 1307, according to the FindMyPast.com study.

Richard Gere is 22nd cousins, twice removed, with the Queen.

richard gere

Richard Gere. David McNew/Getty Images

They’re also related through Edward I.

FindMyPast.com says Tom Hanks is a 24th cousin of the Queen.

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks. Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

They share the common ancestor of King John, whose reign was even earlier: 1199-1216.

Celine Dion is also a 9th cousin, once removed, to the Duchess of Cornwall, according to Ancestry.co.uk.

celine dion

Celine Dion. Jesse Grant/Getty Images

The singer is also distantly related to Madonna, according to the records. They’re 10th cousins, once and twice removed, sharing two different ancestors.

Actress Sigourney Weaver is a 24th cousin of the Queen, once removed …

Sigourney Weaver oscars 2020

Sigourney Weaver attends the 2020 Oscars. Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Weaver’s connection to royalty is through King Henry I.

… while actress Glenn Close is a 24th cousin, twice removed.

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Glenn Close. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Like Tom Hanks, the seven-time Oscar nominee is related to the Queen through King John, according to FindMyPast.com.

Bill Hader discovered he is a descendant of both Edward I and Roman Emperor Charlemagne.

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Bill Hader. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“I mean, the conqueror of Europe? I couldn’t even get the coffeemaker to work this morning,” Hader said on a 2016 episode of the show “Finding Your Roots.”

Alec Baldwin is 29th cousins, twice removed, with the Queen.

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin. David Buchan/Getty Images

Baldwin and the Queen’s shared ancestor is Ethelred the Unready, who was born in the year 986.

Both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are distant relatives of royals.

brad pitt angelina jolie

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine 2015 Innovator Awards

Pitt is slightly more royal (a 25th cousin, twice removed, of Queen), according to FindMyPast.com. His common ancestor is Henry II, who ruled in the 12th century. Jolie’s connection to the royal family is through King Philip II of France, making her a 26th cousin of the Queen.

The Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, is related to both English and Russian royalty.

ozzy osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne. Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Through DNA testing, the British rocker found out that he is related to Russian Tsar Nicholas II and English King George I.

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