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Six royal ancestors with red hair like Prince Harry, Archie and Princess Beatrice

The Duke of Sussex is a direct descendent of Queen Mary of Teck


Royals with red hair - Archie and Harry, Lilibet and Beatrice
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
19 March 2024
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The Duke of Sussex and his two children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, are among the most famous royal redheads, alongside Sarah, Duchess of York and her eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice.

Prince Harry's red locks are assumed to have come from his late mother Diana's side of the family, with the Duke revealing which relatives his children take after in his and Meghan's Netflix documentary in 2022.

"I think, at the moment, I see a lot of my wife in Archie and I see a lot of my mum [Princess Diana] in Lili. She's very Spencer-like. She's got the same blue eyes…" he said.

"Blue, blue, blue eyes," Meghan emphasised.

"Sort of like golden reddish hair," Harry added of his two-year-old daughter.  

But it's not just through the Spencer family, the red hair gene can be traced through recent royal history and right back to the Tudors and the Stuart dynasties.

Queen Mary of Teck – Consort of King George V

Mary of Teck© Getty
A painting of Mary of Teck, dated 1890

Born at Kensington Palace in 1867, Mary was the daughter of Francis, Duke of Teck, a German nobleman and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, a granddaughter of King George III. In many of her earlier portraits as a young woman, Mary was depicted with reddish-golden hair. She went on to marry Prince George, Duke of York in 1893, who later became King George V upon his accession to the throne in 1910. Mary died in March 1953 just months before her granddaughter Elizabeth II was crowned at her coronation.

Queen Alexandra - Consort of King Edward VII

Princess Alexandra of Denmark© Getty
Queen Alexandra had six children

The Danish princess married Edward VII in 1863, making them the Prince and Princess of Wales. In portraits and paintings, she's seen with her copper curls styled high on top of her head. When Queen Victoria died in January 1901, Edward became King, making Mary his Consort. She outlived her husband and became Queen Mother until her own death in 1925. Alexandra was the great-grandmother of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

James VI and I

King James I of England© Getty
The Union of the Crowns was the accession of James VI of Scotland to the throne of the Kingdom of England as James I

James VI and I is said to have inherited his mother Mary, Queen of Scots' famous red locks. He first reigned as King of Scotland and later achieved his lifelong ambition to inherit the throne of England when his cousin Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603 with no direct heirs. According to the National Records of Scotland, through her father, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II (1926 to 2022) was directly descended from James VI of Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth I – reigned from 1558 to 1603

Elizabeth I© Getty
Queen Elizabeth I was the last Tudor monarch

Probably one of the most famous redheads in history, having ruled when the Spanish Armada were defeated. Paintings throughout her life depict her pale makeup and fiery red locks.

Mary, Queen of Scots – reigned from 1542 to 1567

Mary Queen Of Scots© Getty
Mary, Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate in 1567

James VI and I inherited his red hair from his mother, Mary, Queen of Scots, who was just six days old when her father James V of Scotland died and she inherited the throne.

King Henry VIII of England – reigned from 1509 to 1547

King Henry VIII© Universal History Archive
King Henry VIII had six wives

Queen Elizabeth I inherited her golden locks from her father, King Henry VIII, who has been depicted with auburn hair and a beard in most of his portraits.

LISTEN: Mary and George and the raunchy romances of King James I

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