During an episode of ITV's DNA Journey, both viewers and The Chase star Anne Hegerty were amazed to discover that the actress is related to the current Queen of England, although she didn't previously buy her grandmother's claim about her Royal Family connection.
According to the Mirror, English actress Anne Hegerty, who's most famous for appearing as one of the chasers on ITV game show The Chase, was stunned to discover that she's related to the noble Royal Family. The surprising news of her regal background was announced in an episode of ITV's DNA Journey back in April, where Hegerty joined co-star Shaun Wallace as they went in search of her family history. Prior to their appearance, former cricketer Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff and ex-football coach Harry Redknapp were the celebrities to kick off the show's episode as they embarked on a journey to trace their family roots.
Anne Hegerty is the Queen's 19th cousin
In the released clip from the show, Hegerty and Wallace were chatting with a historian in Edinburgh when she found out that she is in fact a 19th cousin of Queen Elizabeth II of England. That wasn't all as Hegerty also turned out to be Scots King Robert the Bruce's 20-times great-grandchild.
As she found out the link, Hegerty gasped in disbelief and said that this was not the first time she was told of the connection. She said that during a discussion, her grandmother may have hinted at the royal lineage but Hegerty didn't buy the story as she was ‘the most tremendous liar’. The 64-year-old TV star admitted:
'Wow, that is cool. But my grandmother was the most tremendous liar. My aunt said she was a romancer and she’d embroider life a bit, so I always felt that anything from my grandmother had to be taken with a pinch of salt.'
The I’m A Celebrity star, who used to be skeptical about her royal connection, also said that her mother ‘was always deeply disapproving of the idea of anyone knowing about their ancestors’. She recalled:
'She’d say, 'It doesn’t prove a thing, dear. I was like, 'I don’t care what you think, I want to know.'
Hegerty told the ITV audiences that she was 'curious' about the story, saying:
'As a child, I was always curious about this stuff and my mother was always very repressive. I think it was because on my mother's mother's side, there's quite a bit of posh, and my mum thought I'd grow up to be a terrible snob. But I've already grown up to be a terrible snob, so really there's nothing to hide.'
Hegerty's familial link to the Queen comes from her mother's line, whose surname was Hayes. One of the Hayes family members married Robert the Bruce's daughter Princess Elizabeth in 1370, which lent weight to the connection, as reported by the Dailymail.
After discovering Hegerty's regal background, her co-star Wallace jokingly refused to call her Queen Anne from now on. The 61-year-old Chaser said:
'You're a closet royal! Don't be lording it over me now. I'm not calling you Queen Anne on The Chase — I refuse.'
Hegerty suffers from a form of autism
Known as one of the cleverest ladies on the British screens, Anne Hegerty has featured on several quiz shows, such as Mastermind, Fifteen to One, Today's the Day, Are You an Egghead? and Brain of Britain. In contrast to her impressive intellect, however, the star's emotional intelligence level is just 1%, which Hegerty playfully said makes her 'basically a Cyborg'.
In fact, Hegerty was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, in 2005. According to Express, the condition caused her a lot of difficulty in settling down with long-term relationships, as she many times opened up during her appearance in I'm A Celebrity 2018. She said:
'One of the things that really goes along with autism is that I really can't hold down relationships. I've tried. My longest relationship was four months and that only lasted that long because he lived in Brighton and I lived in Manchester.'