M A I N   N E W S

William, Britain’s future king, has ‘Indian genes’

London, June 14
Prince William, second-in-line to the throne, will be first British king with proven Indian ancestry, DNA analysis has revealed. The DNA analysis of saliva samples taken from the Duke of Cambridge’s relatives has established a direct lineage between the 30-year-old prince and an Indian housekeeper on his mother Princess Diana’s side.

It is his only non-European DNA and means he will become the first Head of the Commonwealth with a clear genetic link to its most populous nation — India.

William is now likely to be encouraged to make his debut mission to India soon after the birth of his baby next month.

Researchers have uncovered the details of his lineage via a doomed relationship of William’s Indian great-great-great-great-great grandmother.

Eliza Kewark was housekeeper to Prince William’s great grandfather Theodore Forbes (1788-1820), a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in the port town of Surat in Gujarat.

Eliza’s mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was passed on by her daughters and granddaughters directly in an unbroken line to Princess Diana and then on to Prince William and Prince Harry.

Eliza is claimed to have been Armenian, possibly because her surname is rather like the Armenian name Kevork and letters from her to Forbes have been found which contain Armenian script. “But we believe that all the evidence we have gathered shows that her genetic heritage through her motherline is Indian,” BritainsDNA, a DNA ancestry testing company, said in a release. — PTI

Decoding ancestry

  • DNA analysis of saliva samples taken from Prince William’s relatives establishes his direct lineage to Indian housekeeper Eliza Kewark on Princess Diana’s side
  • Eliza was housekeeper to William’s great grandfather Theodore Forbes, a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in Surat, Gujarat
  • Tests indicate Eliza’s mtDNA was passed on by her daughters and granddaughters to Diana and then on to her children
  • The two princes carry Eliza’s markers but will not pass this Indian mtDNA on to their children, as it is only passed from mother to child





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