Danny Dyer is descended from royalty. Or so say researchers for the new series of the BBC hit show Who Do You Think You Are? But if the Eastenders actor comes from royalty, does that mean you could too?
Actor. Hardman. Football fan. Now, Danny Dyer’s found out he’s descended from royalty.
In the new series of the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? in which celebrities trace their family trees with the help of experts (starts 24 November) 39-year-old Danny, who comes from east London, learns he’s related not to one, but to two kings. Most famous of the two is William the Conqueror who launched the Norman Conquest of 1066. But Danny is also descended from Edward III, who became King of England at the age of 14 in 1327 and ruled the country for the next 50 years until his death.
But actor Johnny Depp is also descended from Edward III. The same Edward III as Danny Dyer.
Actor Michael Douglas is descended from Edward III. The same Edward III as Danny Dyer and Johnny Depp.
Actor siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal are descended from Edward III. The same Edward III as Danny Dyer, Johnny Depp and Michael Douglas.
Actor Brooke Shields is descended from, you’ve guessed it, Edward III. The same Edward III as Danny Dyer, Johnny Depp, Michael Douglas and Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
And it’s highly likely you might be descended from Edward III, too. Here’s why. Edward was 64 when he died in 1377. That’s older than most people in those days. During his comparatively long life, he had no fewer than 14 children with his wife, Philippa of Hainault. But here’s the thing – Edward III had over 100 illegitimate children. If you multiply all the descendants of those children, it’s not surprising to learn so many can claim to be related to Edward III. In fact, researchers at Oxford University reckon no fewer than 90% of people in England and Wales could say they are related to Edward III.
Of course, Edward III wasn’t the only king with a large, illegitimate brood. Henry I had at least 25 illegitimate children, and Henry II had 20. William IV had 10. Charles II had 16…and so the list goes on!
Multiply all the descendants of all the kings through all the centuries…and it’s likely most of us have some royal blood somewhere.
Just remember, if you’re related to Edward III, that also means you’re related to Johnny Depp, Jake Gyllenhaal…and Danny Dyer.