Comedian Josh Widdicombe descended from King Henry VIII
Josh Widdicombe discovered he was descended from King Henry VIII.
The 38-year-old comedian appeared on the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? and an investigation into his family tree revealed that he had several royal connections.
Not only is it linked to the former King Tudor of England, who reigned from 1509 to 1547, but the genealogical exhibit also traces his ancestors back to Edward I, King Philip III of France.
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Widdicombe said: “To say it exceeded my expectations is the understatement of a lifetime. I was just expecting a few farmers. It’s blue blood, isn’t it?”
The comedian confessed to the Radio Times: “I’m not a royalist so it was kind of weird. It’s not like I feel deeply proud of that fact, it’s just that it sounds very surreal.”
And he insisted, “I wouldn’t say it changed the way I look at myself, no. It would be crazy if I started to live a more royal life. I think if you’ve learned that you come from a more difficult background it might give you some perspective, but it doesn’t really call for perspective at all.
The last step The star is linked to Henry VIII through his 13th great-grandmother, Lady Catherine Knollys, who was believed to be the darling of King Henry and Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary.
Widdicombe is the 23 times great-grandson of Edward I, who was King of England from 1272 to 1307. And French King Philippe III was his 24th great-grandfather.
Henry VIII was a notoriously tyrannical ruler who married six times – to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr – having two of his wives beheaded. He also started his own church after the Catholic Church refused to let him divorce – founding the Protestant Church in England.
The comedian and actor was born in Hammersmith in West London and raised in Haytor Vale in Devon.
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Her royal connection comes after Who do you think you are? previously revealed EastEnders star Danny Dyer, 44, is Edward III’s 22nd great-grandson, and is also a distant relative of Thomas Cromwell and Elizabeth Seymour.
Who do you think you are? returns to BBC One on Tuesday October 12 at 9 p.m. ET.
Watch: Josh Widdicombe mocks Laurence Fox over England players’ position