DNA testing proves that the Duke of Cambridge is of Indian ancestry. He will become first King of England with genetic link to India. Prince William’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother was half-Indian. William will be first and last monarch with the DNA link as it can only be passed on by a mother.Revelation will prompt calls for prince to make maiden visit to India.
From mother to son: The DNA has been passed down from Diana’s side of the family from Prince William’s great-great-great-great-great grandmother Eliza Kewark who was half-Indian.
DNA tests reveal Wills is actually part-Indian… but one distant cousin knew the family secret all along
Sarah Drury discovered she was related to Prince through Diana’s DNA
Genetic expert traced back heritage to Bombay proving Indian connection
By Paul Harris dailymail.co..uk
PUBLISHED: 22:41 GMT, 14 June 2013 | UPDATED: 23:00 GMT, 14 June 2013
From Bombay to Buckingham Palace, from the Highlands to the Taj Mahal, there was only one way to describe the news.
Well… Goodness Gracious Me, Prince William is descended from Indian ancestors.
The genetic link emerged after painstaking research going back two centuries to the story of a Scottish merchant’s love for the Indian sweetheart who became his wife.
Their liaison began a DNA trail which eventually led to Princess Diana, and will ultimately produce Britain’s first part-Indian king when William ascends to the throne.
The revelation was greeted with delight in some circles in India yesterday – followed by calls for William to capitalise on his newly revealed heritage by paying his first royal visit to the former colony.
But 6,000 miles away, in a tiny village in Herefordshire, one woman already knew the secret. Sarah Drury was told decades ago she was related to royalty through Diana’s DNA chain – and never bothered to speak about it outside her family.
Her grandmother revealed the link to Lady Diana Spencer, as she then was, before she became a queen-in-waiting by marrying the Prince of Wales. ‘I was only young at the time and it didn’t mean a great deal to me,’ she told the Daily Mail.
‘My grandmother explained that her mother had six daughters, and that one of those daughters was the great grandmother of Frances Shand Kydd, Diana’s mother. I didn’t really know who Frances Shand Kydd was at the time because I only heard the name when Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married.’
In the know: Sarah Jane Drury shares an Indian gene with the late Dianna Princess of Wales
Mrs Drury, a 66-year-old retired interior design company executive and her husband Charles, a former stockbroker, now run a B&B in Turnastone, near Hereford.
Late last year she was contacted by genetic expert Professor Jim Wilson, from Edinburgh University, to invite her to help track Prince William’s lineage. He believed Mrs Drury was a distant cousin of the Prince after investigating a line that led to Bombay, the western port city of Surat, and Eliza Kewark, whom he traced as the prince’s great, great, great, great, great grandmother. The DNA type that revealed the link is passed on by females and provides ‘unassailable’ evidence, according to Prof Wilson.
‘I got an email out of the blue and he asked me if I would spit into a bottle for him,’ Mrs Drury said. ‘He came back and told me the link. Although I knew there was this connection with Princess Diana I didn’t know until then what the relationship was.’
History: Joan Heather Powell (1917-1994), mother of Sarah Jane Gofton-Salmond, now Sarah Jane Drury. They share an Indian gene with the late Dianna Princess of Wales
She said she was pleased to unravel the precise link – and proud to discover her Indian heritage, although she has never visited. ‘It fits into place because my brother and I both had very black hair and we both tan very easily. We always made a bit of a joke about a mystery ancestor and where it all came from.’
She added: ‘I’m delighted to be associated with India … perhaps I should visit now.’
The clue in the family tree was in her grandmother’s name of Forbes. Some 204 years ago a 21-year-old East India Company merchant called Theodore Forbes arrived in Surat. There he met Eliza, an Indian of Armenian extraction, the sister-in-law of his agent there.
They fell in love and are believed to have married in 1812. The partnership produced a daughter, Katherine, known as Kitty, later that year. Their son Alexander was born two years later; a second son, Fraser, followed – but he died at the age of six months.
If some of the names are familiar now, incidentally, it is because generations later, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer would name two of his daughters Eliza and Kitty.
Theodore got a job through a relative with Forbes and Co, a trading company based in Bombay. The distance from Surat – plus changing social attitudes that frowned on relationships between white traders and local women – meant the couple led separate lives.
Eliza pleaded in a series of letters to be allowed to join her husband. A friend advised Theodore to despatch Kitty, then six, to the Forbes family home in Boyndlie, Aberdeenshire, which he did. But two years later, after Theodore decided to return to Britain, he died on the voyage.
Further evidence of the DNA link came from another cousin, 79-year-old retired journalist and TV scriptwriter Robin Dewhurst, from Petersfield, in Hampshire.
The father-of-two said he too received an unexpected letter last year from Prof Wilson asking him to provide a saliva sample for testing, which he did. He then received a letter back informing him he was probably 1/64th Indian.
He added: ‘All this past has been revealed just by spitting into a test tube. It’s fascinating how through DNA you can recapture the past.’