Actor Louis Cunningham is no stranger to playing royal roles, both in the hit Netflix show Bridgerton (on which he played Lord Corning in the season two episode “Capital R Rake”) and now as Louis XVI in the BBC drama Marie Antoinette. But what many people may not realize is Cunningham is not exactly acting—the 24-year-old is a grandson of the late Prince Charles of Luxembourg, making him actual nobility. Read on to learn more about him, and to spot five big-name celebrities who are surprisingly related to royalty.
Cunningham’s American-born mother is HRH Princess Charlotte Phyllis Anne Joelle Marie of Luxembourg, and his father is Mark Victor Cunningham. The couple met at the University of Oxford and married in France in 1993.
Cunningham’s education is very on-brand for nobility—he followed in both parents’ footsteps and graduated from the University of Oxford. Ranked the sixth best college in the world, Edward VII (1859) and Edward VIII (1912) are other notable royal alumni. Read on to see what other starts are distantly related to nobility.
Hilary Duff is Queen Elizabeth II’s closest celebrity family member in the US—the actress is related to the Queen (her 18th cousin) through Alexander Spotswood (1676-1740), the 10th great-grandson of Edward III. This distinction has earned Duff, 34, the moniker of “most royal” US celebrity. Fun fact: Duff is also descended from Catherine Car, believed to be the illegitimate daughter of Henry VIII.
Uma Thurman, 52, is also related to Queen Elizabeth II—Uma is the 21st cousin to the Queen through her ancestor, King Edward I. Thurman has three children to continue her royal line: Maya Hawke, 24, Levon Hawke, 20, and Luna Thurman-Busson, 10. “I’m madly in love with all of my children and very proud of them,” Thurman told PEOPLE. “I think they conduct themselves with a lot of dignity and respect for others. It’s all a parent could dream of.”
Meghan Markle didn’t need to marry prince Harry to become royalty: She is descended from King Edward III, making her and Prince Harry 17th cousins. Markle, 41, also has some fascinating American connections: Historians discovered her father, Thomas Wayne Markle, 78, has colonial ancestors in common with George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard M. Nixon, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Chester A. Arthur, and James A. Garfield.
Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie, 35, is descended from nobility on both sides of the family: Her mother is a descendent of King Charles II, and her father is chieftain of the Aberdeernshire clan Leslie, which is why she was raised in a literal castle (Lickleyhead Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland).
Ellen DeGeneres, 64, is a direct descendent of King Edward III, and 15th cousin to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. “I’m definitely invited to the wedding now!” DeGeneres joked back in 2011. “Between the Packers winning the Super Bowl and this, I’m having a good week. Let me know if you need me to plan the bachelorette party. Because I found some straws that are shaped like. . . well never mind.”