28 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Are Actually Distantly Related
If you've ever taken a deep-dive into your family's past to learn more about where you might have come from, how your family got to be the way that it is, or where it is, you know that it can be pretty interesting stuff. And genealogy TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are? and Finding Your Roots have taken that process and added your favorite celebrities to the mix, because they too want to know more about who they are and where they came from. There are a number of celebrities you didn't know are actually distantly related, as well, which can make the process and stories even more intriguing.
In some ways, it might make sense that famous people would be related to other famous people, but these aren't mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or siblings. These celebrities are more distantly related, but related all the same, you may just not have ever known it before. Some celebrity connections can be quite surprising — this isn't the Franco brothers or Rashida and Quincy Jones. From Justin Bieber to Hilary Duff, Madonna, and more, some of the celebrities that are actually distantly related are people you'd never expect.
1. Kate Middleton, Dakota Fanning, & Elle Fanning
The Duchess of Cambridge and the Fanning sisters are very, very distantly related, but they are still related. Middleton, Dakota, and Elle Fanning are 21st cousins, experts from Ancestry told People. The three share a common ancestor in King Edward III of England.
2. Al Roker & Lenny Kravitz
Roker confirmed on the TODAY show that he and Lenny Kravitz are related — their grandfathers were cousins. Who knew?
3. Bernie Sanders & Larry David
Larry David has portrayed Bernie Sanders multiple times on Saturday Night Live because the two look quite a bit alike, but they didn't know that they were, in fact, related until later on. When David appeared on PBS's Finding Your Roots, he learned that he and Sanders are, in fact, cousins, as Time reported.
4. Prince Charles & Ralph Fiennes
The Prince of Wales and actor Ralph Fiennes, who's played many royals over the course of his career, are actually related. Us Weekly reported that Prince Charles and Fiennes are eighth cousins, sharing a connection to James II of Scotland.
5. Madonna & Hillary Clinton
Pop legend Madonna and Hillary Clinton might not seem to be that much alike, but they're actually related. The Washington Post reported that a Washington-based genealogist named William Addams Reitwiesner found that Madonna and Clinton are 10th cousins, but declined to comment on his research to the Post directly.
6. Matt Damon & Ben Affleck
Hollywood best friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck aren't just friends, they're also related. E! reported that research from the New England Genealogical Society found that Damon and Affleck share an ancestor named William Knowlton Jr., who settled in Massachusetts sometime around 1630.
7. Ryan Gosling & Justin Bieber
In a different article, E! reported that Ancestry experts found that famous Canadians Ryan Gosling and Justin Bieber are 11th cousins once removed. Bieber is also related to some other pretty major Canadian superstars as well.
8. Kit Harington & Rose Leslie
They may be newlyweds, but Game of Thrones co-stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie are also actually (very, very) distantly related. An Ancestry blog post noted that Harington and Leslie share a common ancestor in King Charles II, who restored the British monarchy after the British Civil War.
9. Justin Bieber & Avril Lavigne
Not only is Justin Bieber related to Ryan Gosling, but they're actually both related to Avril Lavigne as well. As the aforementioned article from E! noted, Bieber and Lavigne are actually 12th cousins. Celine Dion is also related to this crew, which just makes this story all the more interesting.
10. Emily Blunt & Stanley Tucci
Emily Blunt and her The Devil Wears Prada co-star Stanley Tucci aren't just co-stars, they're family. Blunt invited Tucci to her 2010 wedding to actor John Krasinski, which is how Tucci met his wife — Blunt's older sister Felicity, E! reported in a separate article.
11. Robert Pattinson, Prince William, & Prince Harry
BBC America reported that Ancestry found that Robert Pattinson is actually related to several famous people, including Vlad the Impaler and Princes William and Harry. Pattinson and Princes William and Harry are distant cousins.
12. Hilary Duff & Queen Elizabeth II
E! reported that a genealogy study found that Hilary Duff and Queen Elizabeth II are 18th cousins, sharing a connection to King Edward III. Duff is reportedly the closest American celeb related to Her Majesty the Queen.
13. Thomas Sangster & Hugh Grant
These two were co-stars in Love Actually, but they're also related to one another. Glamour UK reported that Thomas Sangster and Hugh Grant are actually cousins.
Genealogy just might be even more interesting when celebrities are involved.