17 Jun 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: In a shocking revelation, UK-based BritainsDNA pointed out that Prince William will become Britain's first king to have a proven Indian ancestry.
The company analysed the mitochondrial DNA of two cousins of Princess Diana and then compared them to global samples. The company found that the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) belonged to a rare haplogroup, R3ob, that is usually found in the Indian population.
Researchers revealed that sometime in the early 1800s, before the British Raj was first established, a Scottish merchant Theodore Forbes had a child with his housekeeper, a woman named Eliza Newark. Forbes had then been working with the East India Company in the port city of Surat.
Newark is thought to have been Armenian-Indian and they named their child Katherine. About 200 years later, one of Katherine's descendants, Diana Spencer, married the prince of Wales and their child is Prince William.
The specific type of mtDNA has only been found in only 14 other people all over the world and 13 of whom are Indian, explained Dr Jim Wilson, a genetics expert at the University of Edinburgh and the chief scientist at BritainsDNA.
"To add to this research, it is important to note that the other related branches of R3ob, this is R3oa and R3o, are also entirely South Asian in origin. This confirms beyond doubt that the mtDNA of Eliza Newark was of Indian heritage," BritainsDNA said 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.
"This was independent evidence that there was Indian ancestry. 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," Dr Wilson added.