JK Rowling breaks down on family history show

Tuesday August 2, 2011

Harry Potter author JK Rowling struggled to contain herself as the truth was laid bared about a cherished family story on genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?

The writer said the early death of her mother was one of the reasons she agreed to go through the "very emotional experience" of researching her family tree.

She told the Radio Times her mother Anne was "very interested" in her French roots, but never got the chance to explore them.

One of the most emotional moments came when she discovered the family story about her great-grandfather winning the Legion d'honneur was not true.

He had supposedly been awarded it for his bravery in the French army .

The show uncovers that the Louis Volant who won the medal is not related to her.

And the keepsake treasured by her aunt is probably a badge from the former wine waiter's trade union.

She said: "There were a lot of big surprises, some wonderful, and one rather upsetting.

" However, I went into the programme wanting the truth, no matter what it was."

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