Royal Baby Watch

Duchess Kate, Jane Austen Are Cousins

Celebrity News Jun. 28, 2011 AT 6:01PM
Duchess Kate, Jane Austen Are Cousins Credit: Indigo/Getty; Stock Montage/Stock Montage/Getty

No wonder she found a Mr. Darcy!

Duchess Kate and Jane Austen are distant cousins.

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Ancestry.com discovered that Kate and Pride and Prejudice author Austen, who died in 1817 at the age of 42, are related by their common ancestor: Henry Percy, the 2nd Earl of Northumberland. Percy, who lived in the first half of the 15th century, is Kate's 16th great-grandfather and Austen's 10th great-grandfather, making them 11th cousins, six times removed. 

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"Finding this connection between the Duchess of Cambridge and Jane Austen is very exciting since, in many ways, Catherine is the modern Jane Austen heroine: a middle class girl marrying the future King of England," said Anastasia Harman, Lead Family Historian for Ancestry.com. "Jane Austen may have written about happily-ever-after but it seems Catherine has found a nonfiction hero to spend her life with - far past the epilogue." 

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But the famed author isn't Kate's only famous ancestor. The Duchess' 15th cousin is Ellen DeGeneres. When the daytime host learned Kate was her 15th cousin in February, she joked: "I'm definitely invited to the wedding now!" 

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