DNA tests have raised questions about the Queen’s Royal ancestry.

It has always been thought that Queen Elizabeth II is descended from John of Gaunt and Edward III. But scientists have now extracted chromosomes from the bones of Richard III, whose remains were discovered under a car park in Leicester in 2012.

DNA samples have been taken from five relatives of the present Duke of Beaufort, who claim to be descended from both the Plantagenets and the Tudors through John of Gaunt’s. But DNA testing did not find any matches with the Y chromosomes taken from Richard III’s skeleton.

This has caused academics to conclude that there is a break in the line of Beaufort descent, probably due to a “false paternity event” in which a female in the family has been unfaithful and become pregnant by another man. And this has raised questions about the ancestry of the Windsors, distant cousins of the Beauforts.

No threat to throne

However, Dr Anna Whitelock, a reader in early modern history at Royal Holloway – University of London, said an instance of false paternity in medieval times would not pose a threat to the Queen’s right to the throne today.

She told BBC News: “Henry VII was descended from Edward III from the Beaufort line – the Beauforts were legitimised by half-brother Henry IV but not in succession. Royal succession has been based on many things in the past: ability to lead troops, religion, connections – not always seniority by royal blood.”
And she said: “The Queen’s right to reign in based on the 1701 Act of Settlement that restricted succession to Protestant descendants of Sophia of Hanover. A medieval false paternity does not challenge the current Queen’s right to reign.”

DNA testing can reveal truth

Although the discovery may have no real impact on the position of the Royal Family, it does show that infidelity and doubts over paternity have been a problem in the UK for centuries. But while in the past people had no real way of knowing whether a child was definitely theirs, today it is easy to find out the truth with a simple peace of mind paternity test.

AlphaBiolabs offers a discreet DNA test which can be ordered online, allowing people to find out for certain whether they are related. Doubts and suspicions can destroy relationships so finding out the truth can help all parties to move forward in a positive way.