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Revealed: Meghan’s roots in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 11:19 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 17 May 2018

The Duke & Dutchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle wish farewell to the queen after Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church 2017 - Paul John Bayfield

The Duke & Dutchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle wish farewell to the queen after Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church 2017 - Paul John Bayfield

PAUL JOHN BAYFIELD

Meghan Markle has roots in Norfolk and Suffolk it emerged today.

The American actress, who is due to marry Prince Harry on Saturday, is a descendant of both King Edward III, and King Henry VIII’s third wife Jane Seymour, according to genealogists.

MORE - click here for all our Royal Wedding coverage

Experts at website Ancestry.co.uk have outlined the American star’s links to royal ancestors stretching back hundreds of years.

They say her 15th great-grandfather was Sir Phillip Wentworth, a prominent English knight who fought for King Henry VI and was Usher of the King’s Chamber, King’s Sergeant, Esquire of the Body, King’s Carver, and Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Wentworth (1424 - 1464) of Nettleshead, Suffolk, was the great-grandfather of Henry VIII’s third wife Jane Seymour.

He was fighting for Henry VI’s army when it was defeated at the battle of Hexham on May 15, 1464. He was captured and beheaded.

Genealogists have unearthed a calligraphic chart which they say proves Ms Markle is distantly descended from Lionel of Clarence who was the third son of the medieval King Edward III, who ruled England and was Lord of Ireland from 1327 to 1377.

His reign saw the beginning of the Hundred Years War against France, and he created the Order of the Garter in 1348.

St George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry and Ms Markle will wed, is the Chapel of the Order of the Garter, the senior order of chivalry in England.

Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, was Queen of England from 1536 to 1537.

Jane was a second cousin to Isabel Hildyard, Meghan’s 12th great-grandmother.

She promoted peace at court, helping to reconcile Henry with his first child, Mary, and was said to be meek and quiet - but is also seen as having manipulated the king into disposing of his second wife Anne Boleyn, to whom she was lady-in-waiting.

She died 12 days after giving birth to Henry VIII’s male heir Prince Edward, later Edward VI.

Jane Seymour was said to be the favourite of the king’s six wives and the pair are buried together in the Quire of the Royal wedding venue St George’s Chapel.

Russell James, family history and DNA expert at Ancestry.co.uk, said: “With so many notable royal descendants, we’re confident that Meghan is poised to take to her new role with ease and grace.

“The world is clearly watching her every move as she transitions from Hollywood actress to Royal duchess.”

Don’t miss the Eastern Daily Press for a week-long series of souvenir supplements to mark the Royal Wedding. Friday and Saturday’s supplements will tell you all you need to know about the big day itself, meanwhile on Monday you can enjoy our 16-page picture special. At the end, all of our supplements can be put together to make one big 52-page souvenir.


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