Sunday, February 24, 2008

Question from Monica - Current royals' descent from Tudor-era nobility

I am interested in which Tudor courtiers are ancestors of the present royal family. As Princess Diana was descended from many of the noble houses, Prince William is descended from a lot of Tudor courtiers, including Mary Boleyn. Does anyone know an authoritative website where it goes back as far as the Tudors?

Some I have found claim he's descended from Anne Boleyn (impossible) or don't go back as far. Thanks for any help you can offer.


Anonymous said...

Wow! That would be a HUGE research project! Just taking William as one example, he has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents ... and that takes us back only as far as George V and circa 1911 !!! If that is extended back to the Tudor era, you'd be looking at literally hundreds of direct ancestors. And depending on how you define "royal family" (the current Queen and her children? Or do you include the Queen's sister and sister's children? The Queen's aunts and uncles, all of whom were or are HRHs, and their children?) that number could grow exponentially. I know that the website has extensive and easily traceable genealogies for many Tudor-era figures and is very reliable, but I do not know if it extends down into the modern era. I suspect you'd need to wade through Burke's or Debrett's to get a more thorough answer to your question.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, phd historian. It is Prince William I am most interested in, as the future king and descended from far more of the English nobility than his grandmother. I imagine the answer will be most Tudor courtiers whose lines continued!

Seeing a website that showed his descent gave me hope I could quickly check this online...unfortunately there were too many obvious mistakes for me to take it seriously.

Oh well, perhaps in the future someone will be really bored and research it thoroughly!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Tudor family extension! Sorry not surprising, but i agree with phd. historian that would be one hell of a reasearch project. I've already done some digging, but mostly on Lady Jane Grey's sister Katherine Grey. Anyway and they are still in the Royal family,(really they haven't gone far at all). I mean when you look at the Stuarts half of them were bloody Tudors! The Tudor line (contrary to popular belief) never ended with Elizabeth the first, it still exists today in the house of Windsor, but British Royality would love to forget that fact im sure.

Maryetta said...

I know that William and Harry are descended from Edward Seymour, who was the brother of Jane Seymour and Lord Protector when his nephew, Edward VI, ascended the throne at the age of 9.
There is a small controversy though. Edward Seymour's two oldest sons might possibly have been fathered by Edward's (and Jane's) own father, John. Upon discovering his wife's treachery, he sent her to a convent and then remarried and had quite a few more children. I have not been able to determine from which son of Edward's, does the Sprencer line run through.

Anonymous said...

If you think that Mary, the other Boleyn girl, Carey's children were fathered by Henry 8, then Spencer descendants would also be Henry 8's. Henry (Mary's son) Carey's son George Carey, 2nd baron Hunsdon married in 1574 Elizabeth Spencer of Althorp. Their daughter Elizabeth in 1595 married Sir Thomas Berkeley of Berkeley Castle.

- kb