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35 Celebrities You Never Knew Were Royal

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

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Some actors and actresses have had such monumental and legendary careers that, in a way, these Hollywood stars are a form of royalty on their own. But even though 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. Ahead, a list of celebs who get to claim a royal bloodline and are all-around fabulously famous to boot (some people really have it all, huh). It'll give new meaning to the next time you say, "Yas, kween!"

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Hilary Duff

FindMyPast.com gave Duff 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 Duff's royal wedding invite?

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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 eighth cousins of Charles, Prince of Wales. Charles is also descended from James II of Scotland who ruled from 1437–1460.

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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 Ellen Degeneres and Kate Middleton, future Queen of England, distant cousins. 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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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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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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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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Johnny Depp

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

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Madonna

According to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, the pop star is descended from French-Canadian 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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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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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. Turns out, Hugh Grant is Queen Elizabeth's ninth cousin once removed. His heritage can be traced all the way back to King Henry VII of England and 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Tom Hanks

We've always regarded Tom Hanks as American movie royalty, but the actor can also trace his lineage all the way to Queen Elizabeth, as the British monarch's 24th cousin through King John.

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Allison Janney

Allison Janney was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but the Academy Award winner can trace her roots all the way across the pond. Through her relation to Edward I, Janney is Queen Elizabeth's 22nd cousin, once removed.

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Ozzy Osbourne

The British rocker can trace his bloodline back to not one, but two royal houses. Through DNA testing, Osbourne found out that he is related to King George I and the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II.

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Glenn Close

It turns out Glenn Close isn't just a star in her own right, the famous actress is also the 24th cousin, twice removed of Queen Elizabeth through King John.

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Alec Baldwin

The actor is a descendant of Æthelred the Unready, who was the King of England from 978 until his death in 1016, which also makes Baldwin Queen Elizabeth's 29th cousin, twice removed.

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