Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly cousins, according to their family tree

Meghan markle
There is persistent speculation that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are about to announce their engagement. Getty/Chris jackson

While American actress Meghan Markle is known to have come from far humbler beginnings than her British Prince of a boyfriend — it appears that the couple may be more closely connected than we first thought.

A genealogical investigation by The Mail on Sunday has found that the couple are in fact distant cousins — related through a 15th Century English ancestor of the Queen Mother, the High Sheriff of County Durham Ralph Bowes.

The Suits actress’ royal connection comes from her father’s side, Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Thomas Markle, the Mail reports.

Bowes’ granddaughter Bridget married John Hussey, of Dorking, Surrey, whose grandson Christopher Hussey moved to the US in 1632, helping to found Nantucket, a tiny, isolated island off Massachusetts.

Many generations on, this line of the family went on to produce Markle.

And on the other side of the family tree, Bowes’ great-grandson Sir George Bowes was a member of British parliament during the reign of Charles II. Fast forward yet more generations and many years and Prince Harry was eventually born of Lady Diana Spencer and the Prince of Wales. This makes them 15th cousins.

If the report is true, this is hardly the first time a royal romance has been too close for comfort.

Earlier this year, travel website Expedia developed an online tool which showed that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are also cousins — they share the same bloodline, and are both directly related to Queen Victoria.

The new report on Markle’s lineage comes as speculation continues that the couple are about to announce their engagement, spurred on even more by a recent rumour that Markle is considering departing Suits.