Celebrities with Famous Ancestors


Have you ever wondered if you are a descendant of somebody noble and famous? Celebrities probably thought of that at one point, too. Sometimes, you would find that they are actually connected to some royalty or historical figure.

Here are some celebrities with famous ancestors:

1. Johnny Depp

Hollywood’s most versatile actor Johnny Depp has a descendant of royal blood that lived 500 years ago. A genealogist has found out that Depp is a 20th cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. Depp actually shared a great-grandfather with the queen that goes back 19 generations.

Depp is also a descendant of noblemen of the 15th century, William Gascoigne and Margaret Percy. Percy was the daughter of the 3rd Earl of Northumberland, who is directly related to England’s King Edward III.

2. Hilary Duff

Most known as Disney’s Lizzie McGuire, Hilary Duff is probably the most royal celebrity because she has the closest relation to monarchs. She is an 18th cousin to both Queen Elizabeth II and King Edward III.

3. Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal

Hollywood’s Gyllenhaal siblings are descendants of King Edward III of England, making them connected to other descendants of the late king who are also in the entertainment industry: Audrey Hepburn, Michael Douglas, and Humphrey Bogart.

4. Brooke Shields

Hollywood royalty Brooke Shields is related to different actual monarchs such as Elizabeth II, who is her 18th cousin, once removed. Shields is a direct descendant of King Henry IV, son of 1st Duke of Lancaster John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster, who is her ancestor. Her roots can be possibly traced also to Queen Catherine De Medici of France, and Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara.

5. Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks is actually a third cousin, four times removed of former president Abraham Lincoln. They are linked through Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks. He is also distantly related to another former president, Herbert Hoover, as well as King John of England.

6. Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton is a 20th cousin to King Henry II of England, making her related also to presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Warren Harding. Plus, her relation to King Henry II connects her to Bette Davis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Brad Pitt.

7. Brad Pitt

As stated above, Brad Pitt’s royal ancestor is Henry II, who is his 25th cousin, twice removed. Pitt is also a distant relative to president Barack Obama, sharing their ancestry through a man named Edwin Hickman who was born in 1690.

8. George Clooney

George Clooney is Abraham Lincoln’s half-first cousin, five times removed. This means that Clooney is a relative to Tom Hanks, but is distantly related.

9. Robert Pattinson

Famous for playing a vampire named Edward for the Twilight series of movies, Robert Pattinson seems to be really destined for the role — it’s written in his genealogy. Pattinson is a distant relative of Vlad the Impaler – the inspiration behind the most popular vampire in the world, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

10. Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is a descendant of Henry I of England. Because of this, he shares a lineage with ex-politicians like President Franklin Pierce, First Lady Nancy Reagan, and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, as well as business tycoon Bill Gates and actress Sigourney Weaver.

11. Ellen DeGeneres

The “Queen of Daytime TV” Ellen DeGeneres is a 19th cousin of Edward III. She is also related to Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, being her 14th cousin, twice removed.

12. Ben Affleck

Hollywood actor Ben Affleck is passionate about politics, probably because he is related to 16 presidents and an 11th cousin of Barack Obama. A bricklayer from the 17th century named William Knowlton Jr. linked him to Obama and to his long time buddy Matt Damon.

13. President Barack Obama

The first black American president, Barack Obama, became president probably because it is his birth right. Obama descended from England’s King Edward I, as well as other presidents like George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland, James Madison, and William Henry Harrison. Being a politician is really in their blood.

14. Helena Bonham Carter                                                                                                                                                                                             

Helena Bonham Carter is famous because of her role as a cruel and deranged Bellatrix Lestrange is the famous “Harry Potter” franchise. Interestingly,                                       

she is related to a British prime minister and Florence Nightingale. Among others, she came from a politically and diplomatically well-connected

British family. Herbert Henry Asquith, the First Earl of Oxford and the Prime Minister of the United of Kingdom during World War 1, is Carter’s great grandfather. 

15. Cindy Crawford                                    

      American model Cindy Crawford is related to one of the America’s literary giants. Her family has deep ties in the United States

and Ernest Hemingway is her distant relative. Her grandmother Ramona is Hemingway’s 8th cousin, so Crawford is an 8th cousin twice removed.

16. Beyoncé Knowles                                                                                                                                                                 

Believe it or not, Beyoncé Knowles, who is a music royalty, do have royal blood in her veins. She is Queen Elizabeth’s 25th cousin, once removed since they share King Henry II as their common ancestor.

17. Angelina Jolie                                                                                                               

Angelina Jolie carries French royal blood, because she is a direct descendant of King Philip II.                     

Philip II ruled from 1180 to 1223 and known for bringing financial sustainability in France. She is also a distant relative of Queen Elizabeth, her 26th cousin once removed. 

18. Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch, who is known as Doctor Strange in the Marvel movies, is the 16th cousin of King Richard III. Richard III ruled England from 1452 to 1485, and known to be the last English king who died during a battle. A thorough investigation was conducted, enough for his reburial. During the reburial, Cumberbatch was able to read a poem to his royal ancestor.

19. Sigourney Weaver                                                                                                                                                                                           

Sigourney Weaver, who is well known for her role in Alien, is a descendant of King Henry I. Henry I ruled from 1100 until his death and

though had no male heir, was able to spread his bloodlines far and wide. Weaver is also a distant relative of Queen Elizabeth, her 24th cousin, once removed.

20. Meghan Markle                                                                                                 

Before Meghan Markle married Prince Harry who is the Duke of Sussex,

she has already a royal blood. Markle is cousin with the ever-famous playwright, William Shakespeare.

She is Shakespeare’s fifth cousin, 12 times removed. Also, Markle is a sixth cousin, five times removed of Winston Churchill through British settler Zachariah Howe.


Indeed, there seem to be a lot of celebrities who can trace their lineage right back to English kings. They have their Princess Diaries stories of their own. But really, it is quite astonishing to learn that you have a descendant of somebody noble and famous. We hope that we were able to share new knowledge about celebrities who have famous ancestors through this article.

Share this


What Is the Difference Between Beer and Mead?

Beer and mead are two ancient alcoholic beverages with distinct characteristics and histories. Beer, typically brewed from grains such as barley, involves fermentation with hops, which impart bitterness and aroma. On the other hand, Mead is made from fermenting honey with water, often flavored with fruits, spices, or herbs.  While beer's flavor profile is influenced by its malt and hop...

What Is the Difference Between Porter and Stout Beers?

When you sip on a porter or a stout, you might wonder what sets these two dark brews apart. While both boast rich, complex flavors, their differences start with the ingredients and extend to their mouthfeel and pairing possibilities. Porters often use malted barley, which results in a lighter body and subtle chocolate notes. Stouts, on the other hand, incorporate...

Learn the Interesting History of Beer Cans

During the late 19th century, cans were key to mass food distribution. The American Can Company first attempted to can beer in 1909, but failed. In 1933, after two years of research, they developed a pressurized can with a special coating to prevent the beer from reacting with the tin. Innovations like Keglined cans and cone top designs appeared. But...

Recent articles

More like this