Meghan Markle had connections to royal family before Prince Harry

While engagement rumors continue to swirl around Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, it seems that the pair might be closer than we think! According to a new genealogical investigation by The Mail on Sunday, the couple are related. The British royal and the Suits star are reportedly distant cousins, related through a late 15th century ancestor of the Queen Mother.

Meghan’s connection to the royal family, which comes from her father Tom Markle’s side, traces back to an Englishman named Ralph Bowes, who was a High Sheriff of County Durham and whose family seat was Streatlam Castle. His grandson Christopher Hussey moved to America in 1632 and helped found Nantucket, Massachusetts — producing the line Meghan came from.

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><img alt=VIEW GALLERY The couple are reportedly distant cousins Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage

Meanwhile the Bowes estates and castle were passed down through a succession of male heirs including Sir George Bowles, a member of parliament. His daughter Marry Bowes married John Lyon, 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, in 1767. Five generations later Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the Duke of York, who went on to become George VI. Elizabeth became the Queen Mother when her daughter Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. 

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Though they might be distant relatives, the couple of over one year are happily in love. It was recently revealed that the 33-year-old Prince had a crush on the TV star, 36, before they met.“He had a crush on [Meghan's Suits character] Rachel Zane two years before he met Meghan and the reason I know is because I was having drinks with one of his friends,” royal writer Katie Nicholl said in the Channel 4 documentary When Harry Met Meghan: A Royal Romance. “She told me she’d been on a night out with Prince Harry. He was single at the time, so she said, ‘Harry, who’s your ideal girl?’ And he said, ‘Meghan Markle from Suits.’”

GALLERY: A TIMELINE OF HARRY AND MEGHAN'S ROMANCE

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY The Prince had a crush on Meghan's TV character, Rachel Zane Photo: Shane Mahood/USA Network

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The Queen’s grandson arranged with help from his and Meghan's mutual friend Markus Anderson to meet the American TV star last summer while she was in London see her pal Serena Williams compete at Wimbledon. "He asked Markus if he could set up, not a date, but an opportunity for them to meet and that happened in one of the private rooms of Soho House," Katie shared. "There were about seven or eight of them altogether and it was a perfect opportunity for Harry and Meghan to come together in a really informal environment and actually talk." She added, "She was funny, feisty, confident and she wasn't swayed or knocked by the fact that he was Prince Harry. She thought he was terribly cute.” Katie noted that Harry later told his pals that Meghan was a ”cracking girl."

><img alt=VIEW GALLERY Meghan (pictured at Wimbledon 2016) met the Prince during her trip to the UK Photo: Karwai Tang/WireImage

GALLERY: WHAT MEGHAN AND HARRY'S FRIENDS HAVE SAID ABOUT THEIR ROYAL ROMANCE

Over a year after their initial meeting, the couple made their first joint public appearance during the Invictus Games in Toronto. Earlier this month, it was reported that Prince Harry took his girlfriend to Buckingham Palace to have tea with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. Meghan has previously proclaimed her love for Princess Diana’s youngest son saying, "We're two people who are really happy and in love.” Meghan also noted, “I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.”

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