“Sherlock” star and Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch is King Richard III’s second cousin 16 times removed, historian of UK’s University of Leicester, pro-vice-chancellor professor Kevin Schürer, found.
The historian has estimated one million to 17 million people in the UK are related to the King by blood, but no one comes as close as Cumberbatch.
Benedict Cumberbatch Cast as King Richard III
Schürer has led a team of scientists who conducted a genealogy research surrounding modern day relatives of King Richard III. According to Schürer, the closest link to Cumberbatch and King Richard III is through the king’s mother, Joan Beaufort, Cecily Neville’s grandmother. The announcement from Schürer comes as Cumberbatch is set to play the role of King Richard III in the upcoming BBC series “The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses.”
Cumberbatch will be reading a poem during the reburial ceremony for Richard III’s remains, found under a car park.
“Benedict is Richard III’s second cousin, 16 removed. He is linked in several ways, but … the shortest is via Richard’s mother, Cecily Neville’s grandmother, Joan Beaufort. He also has more indirect links to both Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Jane Grey through other ancestors in his [family] tree,” Schürer told CNN.
“It is great that Benedict has the opportunity to take part in the ceremony … having him there will add another dimension to what has already been a momentous week,” Schürer said regarding Cumberbatch reading a poem penned by Dame Carol Ann Duffy.
The reburial service for King Richard III will happen in Leicester Cathedral on March 26 11.30 UK time.
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