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DNA journey: Anne Hegerty's surprising family ties to the Queen explained

It turns out that The Governess is related to royalty

anne hegerty queen
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
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It turns out that The Chase star Anne Hegerty, who is known on the series by her quizzing nickname 'The Governess', is related to royalty. 

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Appearing on Tuesday night's episode of DNA Journey alongside fellow quiz wiz and co-star Shaun Wallace, Anne discovered that she shares genes with The Queen. Find out how below…

WATCH: Watch The Chase bloopers here

As it's revealed in the episode, Anne did actually know about her royal connections before delving into her family history - she just didn't believe it! As she told viewers at home when she was growing up, her grandmother had told her tales about their blue-blooded lineage, but she never took them to be real.

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"My grandmother was the most tremendous liar," she laughed. "My aunt said she was a romancer and she'd embroider life a bit, so I always felt that anything from my grandmother had to be taken with a pinch of salt."

But it turns out her grandmother was telling the truth all along because Anne is, in fact, a 19th cousin of the reigning monarch.

anne hegerty© Photo: ITV

Anne appeared on the show alongside her co-star Shaun Wallace

Combing back through history books, a historian in Edinburgh was able to uncover that the Chaser is related to a family bearing the surname Hayes on her mother's side, who married into the royal family in the 14th century. While details are unclear, it appears that one member of the Hayes family married the King's daughter Princess Elizabeth in 1370.

anne hegerty chase© Photo: ITV

Anne is better known as The Governess on The Chase

It turns out that Anne's mother also knew about the connection but was keen to keep it quiet. As Anne explained on the show: "As a child, I was always curious about this stuff and my mother was always very repressive. My mother was always deeply disapproving of the idea of anyone knowing about their ancestors. She'd say, 'It doesn't prove a thing, dear'.

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"I think it was because on my mother's mother's side there's quite a bit of posh, and my mum thought I'd grow up to be a terrible snob," she continued before jokingly adding: "But I've already grown up to be a terrible snob, so really there's nothing to hide."

However, Anne's incredible connections don't end there. The 63-year-old is also a distant relation of King Robert the Bruce. The King of Scots who ruled from 1306 until his death in 1329, is her 20-times great grandfather.