25 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Royal

Don't let anyone ever tell you Beyoncé isn't the Queen. She's actually royalty.

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Some actors and actresses are have had such monumental and legendary careers that in a way, Hollywood stars are a form of royalty on their own. And while they may feel like kings and queens to us commoners, a surprising number of our favorite celebrities actually have direct connections to monarchies through their bloodline. These celebs are both yaaas, kween, and Yes, Queen. Here, a list of celebs who get to claim a royal bloodline as well as all-around fabulously famous.

'Younger' Season 5 Premiere Party
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Hilary Duff

Duff made headlines when FindMyPast.com gave her the title of "America's most royal celebrity" due to her status as the closest American celebrity relative of the Queen. Duff is the 18th cousin of Queen Elizabeth through Alexander Spotswood, an officer of the British Army and the 10th great-grandson of Edward III. Where was Hilary's royal wedding invite?

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Party For 'The Constant Gardener' At The Times BFI London Film Festival
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Ralph And Joseph Fiennes

That's right, Lord Voldemort (and his Emmy-nominated brother) are able to trace their family lineage all the way back to King James II of Scotland, which makes them 8th cousins of Charles, Prince of Wales. Charles is also descended from James II of Scotland, who ruled from 1437–1460.

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Calvin Klein Collection - Front Row - February 2017 - New York Fashion Week
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Brooke Shields

Shields' royal blood should be of no shock, considering she's always exuded a queen-like confidence. She's the second-most royal celebrity in America, coming in behind the previously-mentioned Hilary Duff. Shields is Queen Elizabeth's 18th cousin once removed through Henry II of France. Other people hanging from her family tree are Catherine de Medici and Lucrezia Borgia, Charlemagne and El Cid, William the Conqueror and King Harold II.

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Ellen Degeneres

A familial link through Sir Thomas Fairfax, makes the beloved talk-show host and Kate Middleton, future Queen of England, distant cousins. Like all of us would, DeGeneres tried to use her family relation to get in with one of the cutest royals, Prince George. “I saw that picture of Prince George in his robe with President Obama and I’m like, ‘I have a clothing line [ED by Ellen]; I can give him clothes; I can make a special robe for him,’” she told British tabloid Hello! “I don’t know why they don’t want to get in good with me because I’m like a gravy train for that kid.”

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Beyonce and Jay-Z 'On the Run II' Tour - Houston
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Beyoncé

Beyonce isn't just Queen B—she's also the 25th cousin, once removed, of Queen Elizabeth II. Imagine Beyoncé wearing the Crown Jewels and schmoozing with the royals. They (and I) can't handle it.

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Prada Resort 2019 Fashion Show - Arrivals And Front Row
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Uma Thurman

The Oscar-winner is the 21st cousin, once removed to the queen through her ancestor, King Edward I of England.

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Suspiria Red Carpet Arrivals - 75th Venice Film Festival
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Tilda Swinton

If you've ever seen the movie Braveheart, then you know about Swinton's ancestry. The iconic actress is a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce, the Scottish King who battled with Edward I ("Longshanks") over control of Scotland in the 14th century. Hollywood, while you're in the midst of reboot mania, how about Swinton taking on the role of her heroic ancestor?

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Premiere Of Disney's 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' - Red Carpet
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Johnny Depp

The actor most famously known as Jack Sparrow is yet another cousin of Queen Elizabeth. Depp is a 20th cousin of Queen Elizabeth through Edward III.

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2018 MTV Video Music Awards - Press Room
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Madonna

According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, the popstar is descended from French-Canadians Madeleine Ernard and her carpenter husband Zacharie Cloutier (1617-1708), which makes her a ninth cousin (once removed) of the Duchess of of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles. They've got another famous relative on this list, too.

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CORRECTION published Sunday, June 14, 2009: A photo cutline on Page A11 Saturday should have said fo
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The Bush Family

Who knew dynasties could cross the pond? The American political dynasty has a connection to very British dynasty: George and Jeb Bush are 11th cousins, twice removed, of the late Princess Diana.

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2018 Sundance Film Festival - 'Wildlife' Premiere
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Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal

Our favorite Hollywood siblings can trace their family's lineage back to royalty as descendants of Edward III, King of England from 1327 through 1377, making them the Queen's 19th cousins. Behind Hilary Duff and Brooke Shields, these two have the most royal blood of any celebrity in America.

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Hugh Grant

The Hollywood heartthrob's got royal blood running through his veins. It turns out, Hugh Grant is Queen Elizabeth's 9th cousin once removed. His heritage can be traced all the way back, not only to King Henry VII of England, but also King James IV of Scotland.

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Paris Hilton

Hilton may act like a princess, and maybe that's because she has a royal connection herself! The socialite is the Queen's 20th cousin through Henry II on her father Richard Hilton's side of the family. That's hot.

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The Old Vic Summer Party
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Guy Ritchie

Just like his ex-wife Madonna, Ritchie's got some royal connections! He's actually got a very close relationship with Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, as the two are sixth cousins, and the director was invited to her 2011 wedding to Prince William.

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2017 Billboard Music Awards - Backstage and Audience
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Céline Dion

Like Madonna, Dion is a ninth cousin once removed of Camilla Parker Bowles, making Dion and Madonna 10th cousins twice removed through Jean Guyon, one of Quebec’s earliest settlers, and 10th cousins once removed through another ancestor, Zacharie Cloutier.

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EE British Academy Film Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals
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Angelina Jolie

Jolie is descended from French royalty through her mother, Marie Betrand. We can trace her lineage all the way back to the 12th century French king, Phillip II, the son of Louis VII. That makes Jolie also related to Marie of France, an influential French royal of the time and Phillip's half-sister. Plus, Jolie and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II are 26th cousins. She's pretty buddy-buddy with the Windsors now, too.

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Brad Pitt

Jolie's ex Brad Pitt has some royal lineage as well! Pitt's roots go back to the 12th century, with King Henry II of England, which makes him the Queen's 25th cousin, twice removed. Henry II was the husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the first wife of Louis VII, Philip II's father. Pitt's ex, Angelina Jolie, is a descendant of Prince Philip II. Isn't it funny how things like that just happen?

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The Hollywood Reporter And Jimmy Choo Power Stylists Dinner
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Dakota and Elle Fanning

Elle Fanning may have played Princess Aurora in Maleficent, but she and older sister, Dakota are actual princesses (kinda). They're the 22nd great-granddaughters of King Edward III, who ruled England from 1327 to 1377. They're also are the 21st cousins of the Duchess of Cambridge, as Middleton’s mother, Carole Goldsmith, is a distant granddaughter of King Edward III.

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Late Night with Seth Meyers - Season 6
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Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas comes from a famous family, but did you know he has royal blood? The Douglas family is actually related to King Edward III, making Michael the Queen's 19th cousin, once removed.

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Esquire Townhouse
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Kit Harington

Kit Harington has something in common with his Game of Thrones character Jon Snow: they're both descended from royalty, though Harington's lineage doesn't make him a secret king. (Spoiler alert!) Turns out, Harington is descended from Charles II of England through his grandmother, Lavender Cecilia Denny (quite possibly the most British name ever). Denny married Richard Harington, who had the title of the 12th Baronet Harington, a title that has existed since the 1400s. “My parents didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up,” Harrington told the London Evening Standard newspaper. “We were comfortable, but I didn’t go to Oxbridge, and yet every American interviewer I get says to me, ‘You’re related to Charles II! Your grandfather was a baronet!’”

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Los Angeles Premiere For The Seventh Season Of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones'
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Rose Leslie

Rose Leslie is descended from royalty like her husband Kit Harington, but her's is a little more impressive: She's got royal lineage on both her mother and father's side. Her father is chieftain of the Aberdeernshire clan Leslie, and her mother is a descendant of King Charles II. In a Targaryen-like twist, both Leslie and Harington are descendants of King Charles II, making them very distant cousins. Very, very distant, we hope.

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76th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals
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Bill Hader

Funnyman Hader is related to both King Edward I of England and Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne is his 40th great-great grandfather. Upon discovering this on an episode of the TV show Finding Your Roots, Hader said "I mean, the conqueror of Europe? I couldn't even get the coffeemaker to work this morning."

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Christopher Guest and Jamie Lee Curtis

Okay, this one's a doozy. The man behind This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, A Might Wind, and For Your Consideration and his superstar actress wife are Hollywood legends, but did you know that Guest not only holds duel-citizenship in England and the US, but is also a member of British nobility? Guest's formal title is 5th Baron Haden-Guest, and at one point, his family had a seat in the House of Lords. That means Jamie Lee Curtis's full name is Jamie Lee Haden-Guest, Baroness Haden-Guest, and she is a baroness herself. Note: while Guest is on this list of royalty, technically, he's not actually royalty, but part of the peerage. To be considered royalty, you must be related to the royal family somehow, while peers are people who've had noble title bestowed upon them by royalty, but aren't royal themselves. To make it simple, Downton Abbey is about the peerage, The Crown is about royalty.

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'Dr. Seuss' The Grinch' New York Premiere
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Benedict Cumberbatch

A legendary actor in his own right, it's no surprise he comes from a royal lineage. Cumberbatch is a descendant of King Richard III of England. Cumberbatch played his ancestor in a series for the BBC, and read a poem at the reburial of Richard III in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

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Meghan Markle

When she became the Duchess of Sussex after her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018, Markle deepened her already-existing royal ties. She's a direct descendant of England's King Edward III, which technically makes her and Harry 17th cousins. According to the Sun, Markle is also related to Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s third wife (you know, the one who died after birth, not one of the beheaded ones). Meghan's 12th great-grandmother, Isabel Hildyard, was second cousins with Seymour.

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