Harry and Meghan are Opting Out of Royalty. Can DNA Tests Help Us Locate the Royalty Within Ourselves?

Scott HirschByScott HirschJan. 21, 2020
Meghan and Harry are Opting Out of the British Royal Family. Can DNA Tests Help Us Locate the Royalty Within Ourselves?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have essentially opted out of their royal responsibilities, creating a renewed interest in the UK Monarchy. The royal family has always attracted the world’s gaze, but now that the royals are trying to become regular people, perhaps it's time for us regular folks to look inward and see if any kings or queens are swinging around our own family trees.

According to The Guardian, inhabitants of England have a better chance of being descended from royal blood than other countries. Why? Because intermarriage between royalty and the lower classes was much more common than in other areas. According to UC Davis’s Gregory Clark, “A large share of the modern English will be related to someone in the past who was part of the nobility.”

Of course, entry into the royal family is impossible for most of us. But it’s nice to dream. And nowadays, our fantasies can be informed by a little bit of scientific reality thanks to DNA testing.

Whether out of a desire to find long-lost relatives, a sense of curiosity about our backgrounds, or yes, even a hope that we have some royalty in our blood, more and more people are using DNA kits for answers.

If you’re thinking about delving into your British ancestry, here are some top DNA kits that can help you on your quest:

MyHeritage

  • More than 100 million people in database
  • Enormous network of international family trees
  • More than 8 million historical records 
  • Results in 4-6 weeks

The international scope of MyHeritage makes it a worthy contender in your quest to find royalty, long-lost relatives...or just some fascinating information about where you came from. The widely popular DNA testing company offers affordable, easy-to-use tests that can yield a veritable encyclopedia of ancestral insights. The tests can trace your ethnicity across 42+ regions of the world, as well as draw from a database of more than 100 million users to connect you to possible relatives and aid in adding branches to the family tree. 

MyHeritage’s DNA tests require simple cheek swabs and take around 4-6 weeks for results, which include ethnicity estimates and DNA compositions interlaid on a map of the world. For an additional price MyHeritage users can also access the company’s historical database, which features more than 8 million documents that further aid in tracking down essential family information throughout the generations.

MyHeritage MyHeritage Visit Site

LivingDNA

  • 21 categories for the British Isles
  • Breaks down results into different regions of the UK
  • Autosomal, Mitochondrial, and YDNA tests bundled into one

Out of a total of 80 regions that Living DNA breaks the world into, the British Isles occupy 21 of them. Off the bat, that means that LivingDNA is the most comprehensive DNA test kit for those in the UK, offering a detailed look into where users hail from. That’s not all that separates them though; they offer the 3 types of DNA tests—autosomal, mitochondrial, and YDNA (if you’re a male)—into one bundle, which costs less and provides a well-rounded glimpse into your past. 

LivingDNA’s easy process entails cheek swabs over saliva samples, meaning you can test your infant or elderly parent. The website offers helpful resources for before taking the test as well as interpreting your results. Unlike other ancestry sites, however, LivingDNA doesn’t help you identify or reach out to relatives. 

LivingDNA LivingDNA Visit Site

AncestryDNA

  • Backed by ancestry.com
  • Huge and diverse database 
  • Helps you connect with living relatives across the world 

In 2016, Ancestry used data from its DNA tests to determine what the “most British” area in the UK was. The answer: Yorkshire. Whether or not you agree with their findings, Ancestry’s willingness to narrow in on the UK with such a detailed and in-depth report shows how seriously the company takes its job in general, and the UK as a source for DNA information in specific. Indeed the study analyzed the genetic history of 2 million people to come up with its results, which reported that even though Yorkshire’s residents can boast 41% Anglo-Saxon ancestry, the average UK resident closely trails at 36.94%.

For users in the UK as well as the rest of the world, Ancestry has proven to be a heavyweight in the field of DNA testing. It boasts over 10 million users and the largest database, which contributes to its reputation as the go-to site for accurate results on where you come from and who you’re related to. Ancestry encourages you to be active with your results as well, offering comprehensive follow-up opportunities that you can use to build family trees, identify prestigious relatives from the past, and identify and meet living relatives across the globe. 

Ancestry Ancestry Visit Site

23 and Me 

  • Health results can offer insight into genetic dispositions
  • Family tree results with relative matches 
  • Responsive customer service support

UK residents interested in learning more about their health will be hard-pressed to find a better service than 23andMe. While the company compares favorably to the other leading DNA kits on the market, they have the distinction of being the only one to offer this service, making them the top choice for those interested in tracing their familial roots alongside potential health predispositions. 23andMe’s health reports can give you insight into your genetic dispositions and keep you one step ahead of potential conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, late-onset Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes. On a lighter note, reports can predict traits such as muscle composition, eye color, and hair type. 

23andMe can stand up to the competition in plenty of other ways, making it a solid choice across the board. In addition to DNA testing, it offers cutting-edge innovations such as inheritance tracing and chromosome breakdowns, which can tell you which world populations different pieces of your DNA originated from. 

23andMe 23andMe Visit Site

Discover Your British Heritage with a DNA Test Kit

Whether you discover a link to royalty or not, your DNA results are no less interesting and important to who you are. Whether you live in the UK now, or just have British roots, find out about who your forebears were with a top DNA test kit that has a good database of British ancestral information.

Scott HirschByScott HirschJan. 23, 2020
Scott is a content writer who has worked as a special education teacher, lifestyle writer, and researcher. He enjoys literature and travel and believes that a sense of wonder and curiosity is the key to living a fulfilled life.