London: Duchess Kate, who seems to be proud of her descendants being coal miners and road sweepers, has blue blood ancestry as well, researchers say. Research carried out by Australian history teacher Michael Reed uncovered a link between the Duchess of Cambridge and former prime minister William Petty FitzMaurice, the Marquess of Lansdowne.

Reed established the connection after asking his pupils to investigate the family tree of the Duchess using a genealogy website.

FitzMaurice is related to the 30-year-old wife of Prince William through Lady Barbara Bullock, her second cousin, three times removed.

Reed was helping one of his pupils study the royal's past when he uncovered the Middleton family's link to Lady Barbara, whose maiden name was Lupton.

Genealogists were aware of her connections to the prosperous Luptons but this is the first time their links with the aristocratic Bullocks have emerged.

Kate's earthier links to a family of Co Durham miners, an inmate of Holloway Prison and a west London road sweeper are well established.

"Everyone has always made it clear Kate's a commoner so when I saw one of her cousins had a title, I was intrigued," a daily quoted Reed as saying.

Having trawled through his family tree, Reed discovered that Kate is also related to the Hon Thomas FitzMaurice, who lived at the famed Cliveden stately home in Berkshire with his countess wife Mary.

Reed sent his discovery to St James's Palace with a photo of Lady Barbara and received a letter of thanks from her assistant private secretary Rebecca Deacon several weeks later.

"Thank you for your letter in connection with your research on The Duchess of Cambridge's background," the letter said.

"Her Royal Highness would have me send you her best wishes, and thanks for thinking of her in this way, it added.


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