Prince William Has Indian Heritage? DNA Test Of Princess Diana's Lineage Indicates So: Report

06/14/2013 06:37 pm ET
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The British royal family may have some explaining to do. If the results of a DNA test conducted by BritainsDNA are to be believed, the royal lineage has some unlikely roots -- in India.

The United Kingdom-based genetic ancestry testing company analyzed the mitochondrial DNA of two cousins of Princess Diana and compared them to global samples, CNN reports. According to the results of the DNA test, Princess Diana's son Prince William has Indian heritage.

The royal's connection to the South Asian country stems from Williams' great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Eliza Kewark, who worked as a housekeeper in India. As ABC News notes, Kewark has often been described as Armenian, but the DNA results indicate that she is at least half Indian.

BritainsDNA discovered the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) belonged to a rare haplogroup, R30b, that is usually only found in the Indian population.

According to Jim Wilson, a genetics expert at the University of Edinburgh who also works for BritainsDNA, the specific type of mtDNA has only be found in 14 other people worldwide, 13 of which are Indian, The Times of India reports.

"To add to this research, it is important to note that the other related branches of R30b, that is R30a and R30, are also entirely South Asian in origin. This confirms beyond doubt that the mtDNA of Eliza Kewark was of Indian heritage," BritainsDNA wrote in a statement on its website.

Since mtDNA is only passed from mother to child, it's likely that William carries a portion of Kewark's mtDNA.

BritainsDNA were able to analyze William's genetic lineage by obtaining saliva samples from two living relatives of Princess Diana.

As The Independent notes, the news of William's possible Indian heritage sparked a search for a distant relative among some in India. However, Buckingham Palace has yet to address the genetic ancestry company's findings.

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