At the time of her break-up with Prince William in April 2007 Kate Middleton became the butt of aspersions among the Prince circle for her lack of aristocratic background. New research seems to give Kate the last laugh, however, suggesting she has some distinctly royal roots of her own.

The 25-year-old Berkshire lass, whose parents run a children's party supply business, is apparently descended from the 14th-century monarch King Edward III and his wife Queen Phillipa.

According to a genealogist working for the Daily Express, Kate's family tree can be traced back to Henry Percy, the third Earl of Northumberland. This, says the paper, means Kate and her sister Pippa can "claim blood ties with every crowned head of Europe and the majority of the British peerage".

The genealogist explains, "Kate's great-grandmother, Olive Lupton, an upper-middle-class Victorian, was 13 generations in descent from Henry Percy, third Earl of Northumberland. Olive was therefore 16 generations in descent from Edward III and Queen Phillipa."

The connection means the attractive siblings are therefore distantly related to their pal George, Earl Percy, heir to the current Duke of Northumberland.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
William's girlfriend, who last week gave up her job at fashion chain Jigsaw to pursue a career in photography, is apparently descended from royalty herself Photo: © Getty ImagesClick on photo to enlarge