On Genealogy: His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, Duke of York & Me

Ok, ok, so I’m related to the Royal Family, no need to get all excited … so is pretty much everyone with any amount of Anglo-Saxon blood.

If you’re new to my blog, I write a lot on my genealogy and, in light of Prince Andrew’s latest Royal scandal, I thought I’d blog about that.

** To read more about my connection to King John I, click this blog here.

According to my ancestry and DNA, His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, Duke of York is my 11th cousin.  I’m not bragging … don’t worry.  Oh wait, Prince Andrew, was stripped of all royal and military titles following his recent legal trouble, and is no longer allowed to use ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity.

Below is my lineage to the Royal Family through my paternal grand-father’s line … that line is full of amazing genealogical significance. If you’re interested, check out my other blogs.


So, What Does 11th Cousin Mean Exactly?

Well, say the average person has three children – higher than today’s average number of children for a British family of 1.7, but a rather conservative assumption historically.

Then, you have 2 siblings.

You have 4 aunts/uncles, therefore 12 first cousins.

You have 8 great aunts/uncles therefore 24 first cousins once removed, therefore 72-second cousins.

You have 16 great-great aunts/uncles, therefore 48 first cousins twice removed, therefore 144-second cousins once removed, therefore 432 third cousins.

So, for the number of nth cousins, it is 2^(n+1) *3^n. (To change the average number of children, just change the 3 in this formula.)

So, for 6th cousins, that is 93,312.

For 11th cousins, that is 725,594,112 (and remember that going back 11 generations, 3 children per couple would be a small family, so it’s probably a lot higher than that.)

You also have about 1/160000000th of your genes in common as a result of that relation. (Although you would actually have far more than that, obviously.)

In other words, that degree of relatedness is meaningless. You and I are probably 11th cousins many times over.

As for the probability of each, that would be a lot more complicated to figure out and have to take into account the size of populations, degree of interbreeding, etc. All you can really say about the probability is that it’s “a lot higher than you would expect.”

Since all humans can breed with all other humans it’s fair to say that we are all related in some way, shape or form.

Since we are, therefore, all nth cousins many times removed, the question is how big a value of ‘n’ and ‘m’ are you prepared to put up with?

In cases where that person is the person I am writing about, I’m willing to put up with a lot less.

What Now for Prince Andrew?

The British royal family will try to put one of the most vexing scandals it faces behind it, with the announcement that Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, had settled a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of raping her when she was a teenager. Virginia claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York three times back in 2001. Not to mention his long ties with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

While Andrew did not admit guilt in a statement announcing the settlement, he said he

“regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.” 

~ NYTimes, Mark Landler

*** To read more about my English war bride of a gramma who immigrated to French Québec, 
Canada after marrying my grampa during WWII click --> here.

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