With the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle making the news, and my old friend Gary Boyd Roberts* and the New England Historic Genealogical Society providing temptation in the way of an article and a handy genealogy chart, I decided to spend some time trying to link their data with my own. And indeed, I could. As it turns out, Meghan Markle is my 23rd cousin, once removed, with common ancestors King Edward I of England (Longshanks) and Eleanor of Castile, through American immigrant ancestor Robert Abell. Through the same common ancestors (but a mostly different line on his part, of course), I am also Prince Harry's 23rd cousin, once removed. Yes, this means that Prince Charles is my 23rd cousin, and Queen Elizabeth II is my 22nd cousin, once removed. Who knew?
Similarly, Porter is 23rd cousin three times removed to both of them, with common ancestor King John (Lackland) of England and his mistress, Clemence, through the American immigrant ancestor Thomas Yale.
Not that I can claim anything special in all this. Millions of Americans are cousins to the new royal couple. They just don't know it—as I did not until now. But I love puzzles, and have finally learned—no thanks at all to my school experiences—that history is fascinating.