Dublin: 14 °C Friday 18 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about Meghan Markle's Irish heritage

Turns out her great-great-great grandmother was from Belfast.

Source: GIPHY

THERE’S A SAYING out there somewhere that has been popularised by Irish Americans that ‘everyone is a bit Irish’. From Barack Obama to Daniel Day-Lewis, everyone seems to have an Irish relative if you go back far enough. Our latest famous claimant is none other than the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.

While on her visit to Dublin with Prince Harry, Meghan was presented with documentation that proved her great-great-great-grandmother Mary McCue (McHugh) was born in Belfast. It had been reported that Meghan Markle’s ancestors hailed from Ballinasloe but it turns out that the name was misspelt and she was actually from Belfast.


The documents were shown to the Sunday Independent and reveal that Mary McCue married Thomas Bird in Donnybrook Church in 1860. The couple went on to have at least two children named Mary and Harriet. It is Mary who is the great-great-grandmother of Meghan Markle.

The documents were obtained by Fiona Fitzsimons and Helen Moss who work for the Irish Family History Centre in Dublin who discovered the link. It turns out that the week before Mary and Thomas tied the knot, a hurricane was reported to have hit Dublin which makes for a lovely rom-com which only adds to the romance.

Unfortunately, the marriage would end 6 years after the death of Thomas aged just 36. Mary went on to remarry the following year and had two more children.

Meghan Markle has a pretty interesting family history by the sounds of it. It was reported last year that King Henry VIII actually ordered the beheading of one of her ancestors Lord Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford. He was seen to have committed treason for taking part in a rebellion in 1536.

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It also turns out that Meghan and Prince Harry are actually 15th cousins as they’re both related to a 15th century English ancestor of the Queen Mother, the High Sheriff of County Durham Ralph Bowes. His granddaughter married John Hussey who as we know is related to Meghan.

Still with me?

Source: GIPHY

And you thought Irish families were complicated.

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Rachel O'Neill

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