Mark Humphrys – The Queen’s Irish Ancestors

Cormac McSparron – Royal Sites of the North Coast
11th February 2022
NI100 programme finale video
4th March 2022

Mark Humphrys – The Queen’s Irish Ancestors

Project Attributes


QEII Platinum Jubilee Programme


CCGBC Museum Services


18th February 2022

The long and rich Irish ancestry of the Queen is well-known to genealogists but not known to the public. I will explain how the Queen has a vast number of Irish ancestors, including multiple Irish rebels, how Brian Boru is the ancestor of every English monarch since Henry IV, and how the Queen’s most recent Irish-born ancestor was alive in 1842. Does this matter? I think yes. These are examples of facts that are well-known to historians and genealogists but that popular culture rejects, preferring to believe a myth about the past instead.

Dr Mark Humphrys is a lecturer at Dublin City University, but is also known for his 38 years of genealogy work at Descended himself from a family of famous Irish rebels and nationalist politicians, and married to an English direct descendant of the Earl of Pembroke through a famous 18th century affair, he has often written of the crossovers between Irish and British genealogies.

This talk was delivered as part of the Jubilee Talks series, part of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Museum Services programme to mark the platinum jubilee of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. This programme has received financial support from The Executive Office as part of the District Councils Good Relations Programme and supports the T:BUC strategy (Together Building a United Community).


Click here to see the full programme and view other talks