Prince Harry′s and Meghan Markle′s German roots | Lifestyle | DW | 29.11.2017


Prince Harry's and Meghan Markle's German roots

Many Americans have German ancestors — and that's also the case for actress Meghan Markle, who will be marrying Prince Harry in May 2018.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (picture-alliance/dpa/D. Lawson)

The great-great-great-grandfather of his Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order — better known as Prince Harry — was from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a German dynasty.

But if Prince Harry's ancestral links to Germany are well documented, his future bride's German roots have been revealed by tabloid magazine Bunte.

Read more: UK: Prince Harry gets engaged to actress Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle's ancestors on the side of her mother, Doria Ragland, came from Africa and were slaves on cotton plantations. On the paternal side of the family, her dad Thomas Markle's roots lead back to Germany and Switzerland.

From 'Markel' to 'Markle'

According to Bunte magazine, Johann Markel left his home town of Offentburg in Baden-Württemberg in the late 18th century and moved to Pennsylvania. His son Conrad Markel was born there in 1809. Conrad later married Catherine Hovis, whose ancestors were also from Prussia and Switzerland.

Their son Isaac later changed his name to Markle following an error in a census. Isaac Markle married Leah Reisenberg. One of their sons, Gordon Arnold Markle, is Meghan Markle's grandfather.

Americans with full or partial German roots make up the largest ancestry group in the US, according to the US Census Bureau. Most German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia from the 1670s through the 19th century. 

nf/pj/eg (with dpa)

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