King John vs. King George


I'd think this was satire if it wasn't on MSNBC. British genealogical researchers claim that every U.S. Presidential election has been won by the candidate with the best connections to European royalty. On this basis, they're predicting a Kerry win this year.

Kerry is a descendant of bygone kings of England, Henry III and Henry II, and is distantly related to Richard the Lionheart, who led the third Crusade in 1189, according to Burke?s.

He is also descended from Henry I, King of France, and his wife, Anne of Kiev, giving him kinship with the royal houses of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the House of Rus.

Bush's bloodline is not so shabby, either:

Similar research carried out on Bush ahead of the 2000 presidential race showed that he beat Al Gore in the royal stakes, claiming kinship with Britain?s Queen Elizabeth as well as with Kings Henry III and Charles II of England.

I guess this means I have no chance of ever becoming President.

NEXT: Thinking outside the, um, box

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  1. Aieeee! Kerry and Bush are related!!!! Run for your lives!!!

  2. Hanah,
    Of course that's because you're a girl.


    I wonder if links to Pharaonic royalty gives me a chance. Oh wait, I'm brown. Never mind. 🙂

    You're more right than you think.

  3. Errr, So Side-show Bill was more related to the monarchy than either GHWB or Bob Dole?

    btw, here's the MSNBC article for the curious:

  4. If they looked deep enough they'd find that they're probably related to Vlad the Impaler, Ivan the Terrible, and Madame Pompidour. Thank God I am a peasant.

  5. I still want to know how Bill Clinton had more royal blood than George H.W. Bush. Maybe he's descended from a bastard son of some emperor or whatever?

  6. Another interesting fact on Presidential lineages:

    3 US Presidents have been direct descendants of previous Presidents: John Q. Adams (son of John Adams), Benjamin Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison), and George W. Bush. Others have been related to one another (e.g. the Roosevelts) but only 3 are direct descendants.

    All 3 were elected under unusual circumstances. In 1824 there was no clear popular vote since in some states the electors were still appointed by the legislature, but Q. was behind in the electoral vote, and according to some sources he was behind in whatever popular vote could be measured (although the significance is dubious given that some electors were appointed). Since nobody won a majority of the electoral votes it went to the House, where after much turmoil Q. was elected.

    In 1888 there was no real controversy that I'm aware of, but Benjamin Harrison clearly won the electoral vote and clearly lost the popular vote. Yes, I know, the electoral vote is all that legally matters, but it's always interesting to observe such splits and ponder what it says about the popularity of the winner.

    In 2000, well, we all know how controversial that election was. The one thing that's clear is that Gore got a plurality of the popular vote. Yes, I know, same disclaimer as in the case of Harrison.

    My interpretation: Every time the American people see Presidential candidates of "royal" lineage they try to elect somebody else, but each time around a loophole in the Constitution results in the heir being elected.

  7. Actually, Meshuganer, it says that Kerry is related to Ivan the Terrible.

  8. Perhaps no direct controversy in 1888, but remember that B. Harrison was the president in between the two terms of Grover Cleveland. How weird is that? Maybe Kerry will fall between the bushes?

  9. British genealogical researchers claim that every U.S. Presidential election has been won by the candidate with the best connections to European royalty.

    So when Harrison beat Cleveland in 1888, it was Harrison who had the best connection to royalty, but by 1892 those connections now favored Cleveland who beat Harrison in the rematch.

  10. James,
    Isn't it obvious? Harrison and Cleveland had the exact same RQ (royalty quotient) and thus the gods that smile upon British royalty had to have both candidates win.

  11. If Bush can claim kinship with Charles II and Elizabeth I, doesn't that put him closer to British royalty? Although maybe in a bastard line, since Charles II had no legitimate children, and Elizabeth I none at all (we trust).

  12. All these prediction systems are a waste of time. Obviously the results have already been determined in a secret meeting of Skull & Bones....

  13. James,

    Yep, there's a few eye-popping inconsistencies here. Jackson and Q, as well as Jefferson and Adams, faced each other twice with different outcomes -- which also puts to rest the idea the old wives' tale that the taller candidate always wins.

    JFK, who defeated Nixon, must have been closer to British royalty than Humphrey or McGovern, who lost to him. What would ol' Joe Kennedy have to say to that!

  14. If Kerry loses, no doubt these people will suddenly discover that either W has even more royal blood than originally thought, or else Kerry has less than originally thought.

    But I don't know what PapayaSF is smoking when he says it's already been decided at a meeting of Skull and Bones. Obviously it was decided by a bunch of Jewish bankers!

  15. They're both Bonesmen, you know.

    As long as we're on conspiracy theories, Counterpunch is suggesting that the McGreevey scandal is actually a plot by Jewish spies and Karl Rove:

  16. can "prove" almost anything with a statistically insignificant sample...

  17. The article stated that both presidential candidates for 1996, President Clinton and Bob Dole, were both distant cousins with intertwining pedigrees of royal lineage, going back all the way to King Henry II of England, as well as Presidents William and Benjamin Harrison, according to Burke?s Peerage, a genealogical research firm based in London. Mr. Brookes-Baker, who runs the company, further states that Clinton has more royal lineage than Dole, being able to trace his family tree back to King Robert I of France and every Scottish monarch that ever reigned, as well as Simon de Montford, a statesman under King Henry II, through which Clinton is related to ?every ancient aristocratic family in Britain today, including the current British monarchy. The Royal Pedigrees of U.S. Presidents

    Family Tree: 42nd President William Jefferson Clinton (via Genealogy of the presidents of the USA)

  18. Here's a line of descent for Bush II from Louis VIII of France. This means Bush II is also descended from Henry I of France, Charlemagne, and Rurik the Viking, as is Kerry.

  19. Burke's figured out that Ronald Reagan was a clansman of Brian Boru, Ard-Ri of Ireland, who defeated the Norse at Clontarf. That was no great surprise. Isn't every child of the Irish Diaspora a descendant of one king or another?

    For example, Brian's Dad bore the name ?? Cinn?ide, which we know today as Kennedy. So JFK I and the Gipper may have been distant kinsmen.

    {grumpy Founding Era Voice}

    Romanticism aside, the continuing interest of Americans in royalty is a corruption of republican virtue.



  20. Another interesting bit about Benjamin Harrison: he was the last senator to win the presidency against an incumbent. The only two senators to win since were Harding and Kennedy, both in open elections.

  21. JM-

    Good point.

    However, my point was about direct Presidential descendants. I attach no significance to John Kerry and George W. being 15th cousins 3 times removed or whatever it is. I attach more significance to direct Presidential descendants winning under strange circumstances. I don't sense a conspiracy, but I do sense that these guys lacked popular appeal and won only because they had good tacticians who knew how to "game the system."

  22. Oh, Bill Clinton's next door neighbor is related to British monarchs too. The only difference is that nobody bothered to check.

    You have two parents, four grandparents, eight g-grandparents, and so on. Ten generations back you have 1024 ancestors. Eleven, 2048. Twelve, 4096. Etc. So when you count many generations back, don't be surprised if literally everyone can find some crowned heads.

  23. "Ten generations back you have 1024 ancestors. Eleven, 2048. Twelve, 4096. Etc."

    I doubt that any living person has that many unique ancestors. I suspect that there is quite a bit of overlap. After all, ancestors rhymes with incestors. (What do you mean incestors isn't a word?! Google says that it is!)

  24. According to "Mapping Human History: Discovering the Past through our Genes" by Steve Olson, we are all related to royalty if you go back far enough. This is true just because of statistics. For instance, there were not nearly as many people alive in 1600, and since then intermarriage has made it almost impossible that we are not all descendants of some royal house. (I was skeptical of this argument but Olson shows how it's true...with math to back it up).

    Guess I should stop bragging about being Winston Churchill's 5th cousin 9 times removed 🙂

  25. "This means Bush II is also descended from Henry I of France, Charlemagne, and Rurik the Viking, as is Kerry."

    The mathematics of coalescensce is well-worked out, and pretty much everyone of at least part-European origin is descended from Charlemagne and Rurik at this point in time, so this is hardly an exclusive club.

  26. To JM's post at 12:18--

    So you're telling us that Ike's ancestry was
    British Isles? That will surprise many.


  27. Dubya would tell you we're all related to adam and eve anyway. And he'd probably deny all of their subsequent inbreeding.

  28. Olson pretty convincingly shows that everyone is descended from Julius Caesar and Confucius, (assuming those two gentlemen have any living descendants at all).

  29. Ike's Mom gave him some non-German ancestry.

    (31) Eisenhower (predominantly German, though with a link to the frontiersman Daniel Boone, whose ancestors were from Devon, also to the corporate raider T. Boone Pickens, through his Stover mother)

    See: or


  30. Those who infer evidence of some hidden dark conspiracy in the relatedness of American presidents are wrong- there is a wide open obvious conspiracy. Only males whose ancestors came from the British isles (a couple or three small islands at the fringe of a soi-disant continent)over a very small time interval (say 1780-1880) from a very thin stratum of society (the very poorest didn't have the money or health for passage even if they had the knowledge of America; the very richest were in clover anyway) need apply. Go back 2, 4, 8 generations, count up the ancestors and deem everybody on the chart a 'relative'. The surprise would be if these people were _not_ related somehow.

    One test would be to go to Bill Clinton's neighbour in Hope, Arkansas. Joe Smith- electrician, smart, diligent, but never made it to be president. I would bet $$ that he is equally as 'royal blooded' as Clinton, or Truman, or Eisenhower.

    Of course, people with funny names and funny accents are excluded by law.

    It's all perfectly transparent.

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