It is widely reported that 1 in 200 people alive today are descended from the bloodthirsty Genghis Khan. The same can’t be said for the former Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell, although it may surprise you that one senior member of the British Royal Family is a direct descendant of the arch-republican.
The royal in question is the Duchess of Kent, who married into The Royal Family in 1961.
The Duchess, who prefers to be styled simply as ‘Katharine Kent’, is the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandaughter of Oliver Cromwell.
Besides the obvious difference in opinion towards the monarchy, Katharine and Cromwell are also the complete opposites to each other concerning religion.
Cromwell was a staunch Puritan, and the Duchess is a Catholic – a toxic mix back in the 17th Century.
The Duchess of Kent was the first member of The Royal Family to convert to Catholicism since the passing of the Act of Settlement 1701. She was received to the Catholic Church in 1994, a decision which was approved by The Queen.
Since then, several of her family have become Catholics as well, and her eldest son married a Catholic, which disbarred him for several years from the line of succession until he was reinstituted in 2015 under the Succession to the Crown Act, which revoked the rule against marrying Catholics.
She told the BBC: “I do love guidelines and the Catholic Church offers you guidelines. I have always wanted that in my life. I like to know what’s expected of me. I like being told: You shall go to church on Sunday and if you don’t you’re in for it!”
Formally, the Duchess is styled as ‘Her Royal Highness’. Cromwell, on the other hand, was referred to as ‘His Highness’ or the more mundane ‘Sir’ when he was Head of State.
Are you a descendant of Oliver Cromwell or royalty? Let us know by commenting below.