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Kate Middleton's Horwich connections

PUBLISHED: 01:16 26 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:16 20 February 2013

Jessica and Judith

Jessica and Judith

A family from Lancashire has a very special reason for celebration the marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William

When Prince William places that ring on that finger, an extra special cheer will go up and the Union flags will be waved even more vigorously in one Lancashire household.

That will be the special moment when, unlikely as it seems, a family from Horwich becomes related to the Royal family.

Since the marriage announcement, the media has explored every twist and turn of the Middleton family tree, tracing the maternal side back to cooks in Norfolk and coal miners in the north east, sparking a predictable rash of From Pit to Palace headlines.

That link to the County Durham side of the family is where Lancashires Judith McGuinness comes in. Her recent ancestors were part of that north
east branch before some decided the grass was greener on the other side of the Pennines and moved over here.

Judith and her married daughter Jessica Purnell have always been supporters of royalty and were excited about the wedding news. But they never suspected they had a more personal connection.

However, a phone call from a relative hinted that the families might be intertwined. We saw the family tree on line and it appeared to confirm that I am second cousin to Kates mother, Carole. Her great grandmother and mine are the same person, said Judith.

That person is Elizabeth Myers, who was born in 1868 and had seven children. The family phone lines were buzzing when we found out,
said Judith, a holistic therapist. We contacted a company specialising in genealogy and we ordered a copy of our tree so we could check it properly. We were pretty shocked by the whole thing.

Jessica, who is married with two children and also lives in Horwich, added: We were always interested in our family history but we never suspected this.

The news was particularly welcome for 52-year-old Judith, who has been battling a severe illness. With being so ill, this has been a real boost. I dont want people to think we are making a big fuss but its just brilliant news for the family. And, with Kate and Prince William living in Anglesey, they might pop around for tea one day.

We are very passionate about our family and so is she. Perhaps, Im imagining it, but I can see a little likeness between Kate and Jessica.
They sent the happy couple a card and included a copy of the family tree with some photographs. A letter of thanks came back from Prince Williams office.

You never know, there might still be an invitation to the big day heading to Horwich, laughed Judith. Whether it does or doesnt, the family plans a big get-together at the house on April 29 to mark a particularly special name being added to their family tree.


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