29-year-old Kate Middleton was born a commoner with no aristocratic background and yet she now holds the title of Duchess Catherine of Cambridge after marrying Prince William, second in line to the British throne. This description alone makes her fit in with the many heroines of Jane Austen’s famed novels who end up falling in love with men of higher rank.
But this is now not the only connection Middleton and Austen share. According to Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, the two are distant relatives. Thanks to Henry Percy, the 2nd Earl of Northumberland in the first half of the 15th century, Middleton and Austen are 11th cousins, six times removed. Percy is Middleton’s 16th great-grandfather and Austen’s 10th great-grandfather.
“Finding this connection between the Duchess of Cambridge and Jane Austen is very exciting since, in many ways, Catherine is the modern Jane Austen heroine: a middle class girl marrying the future King of England,” Anastasia Harman, Lead Family Historian for Ancestry.com explained the sites excitement.
But the interesting connections don’t end with Henry Percy. Readers of Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” may be able to place the surname Middleton elsewhere. Sir John and Lady Middleton were the distant relatives who take in the impoverished and homeless Dashwood women. Funny how things like that work out…
Austen is not the only famous individual Middleton has distant ties with. According to CNN, Middleton is also the 6th cousin of Guy Richie as well as distant relatives to George Washington and Francis Scott Key. Due to her ties with Henry Percy, it also makes her distantly related to King Edward III.