Friday, June 14, 2013

Prince William: DNA Test Proves Indian Heritage

Prince William will become Britain's first king to have proven Indian ancestry.
Genetic experts have found a direct lineage between the Duke of Cambridge and a part-Indian woman called Eliza Newark.
She was a housekeeper for his great-great-great-great-great grandfather Theodore Forbes, a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in Surat, a port north of Bombay.
They had a daughter called Katherine - and it is through an unbroken maternal line to the prince's mother, Princess Diana, that the young royal and his brother Prince Harry have inherited the Indian DNA.
The research was carried out by BritainsDNA, a genetic ancestry testing company.
It showed the second in line to the throne was carrying Eliza's mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) - a small piece of DNA inherited mostly unchanged from a mother to her children.
Scientists said it was "very likely" that Prince William's heirs will also carry a small proportion of Indian DNA from Eliza, whose father may have been of Armenian descent.

Born in 1790, she lived in India when it was governed by the East India Company, and is thought to have had Armenian blood because of her surname.
Dr Jim Wilson, a genetics expert at the University of Edinburgh and chief scientist at BritainsDNA, said it was the fact that she was an Armenian living in Bombay that intrigued him.
He said: "I was wondering if it was possible she was Indian. What was an Armenian doing in Bombay? That's what got me interested."
Using birth, marriage and death records, he said researchers traced two of Eliza's living direct descendants, who are both third cousins of Princess Diana's mother, Frances Shand Kydd, and tested samples of their saliva.
Using other genetic tests to corroborate the findings, they also discovered that the two direct descendants were around 0.3% and 0.8% South Asian. The rest of their DNA was of European origin.
"This was independent evidence that there was Indian ancestry," said Dr Wilson.
"For me, it corroborated the findings from the mtDNA. We've got two different kinds of genetic evidence that are independent from one another and they both corroborate the story.
"So it really seems that our future king has a little bit of Indian blood."
Prince William and his wife the Duchess of Cambridge are expecting the birth of their first child in July.
Kate conducted her last solo public engagement on Thursday, attending a ship naming ceremony in Southampton.

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