EastEnders star Danny Dyer is best known as the landlord of the Queen Vic but it has emerged that the actor's connection to royalty is not confined to soap land. The 39-year-old star is related to William the Conqueror and Edward III, two prominent kings of England.
The actor discovered his royal linage during an episode of BBC 1's Who Do You Think You Are? where ancestral researchers also revealed that he was shared a connection with English lawyer and Henry VIII's chief minister Thomas Cromwell.
"It's crazy. But the fact of the matter is that I am a direct descendant of royalty," he said of his bloodline stretching back to 11th century.
Interestingly, Dyer, who hails from London's Canning Town, said that his link to Cromwell was more important as he could relate to the self-made Tudor statesman.
"He came from a slum, I come from a slum," he told Radio Times magazine. "Cromwell left the country at 14, I started acting at 14. He was a self-taught lawyer. I'm a self-taught actor. Cromwell had two daughters and a son. I've got two daughters and a son. Cromwell wrote his last letter to Henry VIII begging for his life, on July 24, which is my birthday... And I drink in the Anne Boleyn pub."
According to psychologist and body language expert Judi James, there is a good chance that Dyer might have mentally and emotionally re-written his own sense of self at hearing he has royal ancestors.
She told IBtimes UK: "He's probably defined his own history by a more humble upbringing and family history and with this blown out of the water he might even need a period of re-adjustment on discovering he is - by his genes - 'posh'! There's something of the horoscopes about our 'breeding', where we accept being told who we are and adapt to become that person through our lives, so hearing totally different could be a floor-shaker even though it should make no difference at all to who we are."
The news means that Dyer could potentially have stronger ties to the British throne than Kate Middleton, who tied the knot with Prince William in 2011 and is mother to the future king. Back in 2012, it was revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge was actually linked to earls and countesses and shared an ancestor – Sir Thomas Leighton – with her husband Prince William, despite much written on her 'humble' roots.
Australian historian Michael Reed said that although Middleton comes from a middle-class family, she has blue blood.
He said at the time that: "I can't imagine Kate didn't already know about her family's royal connections. I think it casts a different light on her courtship with Prince William, because it will have given her great confidence knowing that their families had so much in common."
Who Do You Think You Are airs on BBC1 on 24 November at 8pm