Josh Widdicombe learns he is related to Henry VIII on 'WDYTYA'

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·2 min read
Josh Widdicombe learned on 'Who Do You Think You Are?' he is related to King Henry VIII. (BBC)
Josh Widdicombe learned on Who Do You Think You Are? he is related to King Henry VIII. (BBC)

Josh Widdicombe has discovered he is descended from King Henry VIII.

The 38-year-old comedian took part in BBC show Who Do You Think You Are? and an investigation into his family tree revealed he is has several royal connections.

Not only is he related to the former Tudor king, who ruled England from 1509 to 1547, but the genealogy show also traced his ancestors back to Edward I and Phillip III of France.

Read more: Dermot O'Leary told his family is too boring for Who Do You Think You Are?

Widdicombe said: "To say it's exceeded my expectations is the understatement of a lifetime. I was just expecting a couple of farmers. It's proper blue blood, isn't it?"

The comedian confessed to the Radio Times: "I’m not a royalist so it was kind of quite weird. It’s not like I feel deeply proud of this fact, it’s just that it feels very surreal."

A young Josh Widdicombe, who was born in London and grew up in Devon. (BBC)
A young Josh Widdicombe, who was born in London and grew up in Devon. (BBC)

And he insisted: “I wouldn’t say it’s changed how I see myself, no. It would be mad if I started living a more royal life. I think maybe if you’ve learned that you came from a tougher background, it might give you some perspective, but this doesn’t really call for perspective at all.”

The Last Leg star is related to Henry VIII through his 13th great-grandmother Lady Catherine Knollys – who was believed to be the lovechild of King Henry and Anne Boleyn's sister Mary.

Widdicombe is the 23 times great-grandson of Edward I, who was king of England from 1272 to 1307. And French King Phillip III was his 24th great-grandfather.

Henry VIII was a notoriously tyrannical ruler who married six times – to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr – and had two of his wives beheaded. 

He also set up the Church of England after the Catholic Church refused to let him divorce.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12:  Danny Dyer the Press Room at the Virgin TV BAFTA Television Award at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Danny Dyer is a distant descendant of Edward III. (Getty Images)

The comedian and actor was born in Hammersmith in west London and grew up in Haytor Vale in Devon.

Read more: Kate Winslet: 'Why I am pleased my ancestors were impoverished slaves'

Who Do You Think You Are? previously revealed EastEnders star Danny Dyer, 44, is the 22th great grandson of Edward III, and also distantly related to Thomas Cromwell and Elizabeth Seymour.

Who Do You Think You Are? returns to BBC One on Tuesday 12th October at 9pm.

Watch: Josh Widdicombe mocks Laurence Fox over England players' stance

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