Historian reveals Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard III are cousins

Leading historian and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Kevin Schürer, whose genealogy research helped to confirm the identity of King Richard III, has now discovered a link between Oscar-nominated actor Benedict Cumberbatch and the King.

Professor Schürer who was instrumental in tracking down modern day relatives or Richard III, revealed the link to Benedict earlier this year, noting him and Richard to be second cousins, 16 times removed.

The actor, best known for his role as Sherlock Holmes, is linked to the King in several ways, but in terms of number of generations, the shortest link is via Richard’s mother, Cecily Neville’s grandmother Joan Beaufort.

Professor Schürer also found Benedict, who will be taking part in Thursday’s reinterment ceremony for the mortal remains of Richard III by reading a specially commissioned poem, is linked to both Queen Elizabeth II and Lady Jane Grey through other ancestors.

It has been estimated that between one million and 17 million people in the UK are in some way related to the former Plantagenet monarch, although not as closely as Benedict, who was recently cast to play his distant relative in the upcoming BBC series The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses.