Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry (R) and Meghan Markle (L) at the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto, Canada Getty

She's known as the glamorous US actress that is dating Britain's Prince Harry but Meghan Markle's roots actually reach back the gritty, working class world of the Victorian England, according to a new documentary has explored her family tree.

The 36-year-old actress and humanitarian was born in Los Angeles and is half African-American, but the documentary When Harry Met Meghan: A Royal Romance reveals her ancestors were also from the coal mining communities of Yorkshire.

The programme, which features comments and interviews with royal experts, traces her great-great grandmother, Martha Sykes, back to the UK.

Historian Andy Ulicny says that Sykes was born in Yorkshire and left with her parents, Thomas and Mary, for the US when she was just one years old.

He said: "Most likely the Sykes family came from Yorkshire, a coal mining region, and the name Sykes was popular up that way."

Sykes is a direct descendant of Markle's father Thomas Markle – who works as a lighting director. The family immigrated from England during Prince Harry's great-great-great grandmother Queen Victoria's reign in 1869 for a chance at a better life.

They lived in the mining area of Pennsylvania, which has been proven with a copy of the 1870 census from the Mahanoy Township in Schuylkill County. Martha's father Thomas died of heart failure while working in a local colliery, and was survived by his wife and five children.

The hour long documentary will air on Saturday night (28 October) at 9pm and is set to reveal more of her background with interviews with friends and colleagues.

The actress is massively proud of her heritage, and previously described herself as a "strong, confident mixed-race woman".

Markle recently called Harry her "boyfriend" in a candid interview with Vanity Fair, stating: "We're two people who are really happy and in love."

It was reported that she met with the Queen for tea alongside Prince Harry two weeks ago, prompting speculation that an engagement is imminent and an announcement should be expected after the Queen and Prince Philip's 70<sup>th anniversary on 20 November.

meghan markle
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been dating for 18 months