Royals | Celebrity

5 Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Royalty

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Everybody loves to imagine what it would be like to be part of a royal family; to have that dynasty that goes back for generations (and the riches and perks that go along with it probably don't help either). As it turns out, a few very, VERY prolific people are just a little more royal than you might have thought, and the stories behind them are fascinating.

Grace Kelly

Few actresses are as emblematic of their time as Grace Kelly. Deciding to pursue acting despite the disapproval of her parents, the young actress soon rose to the top of Hollywood's elite, thanks to leading roles in smash-hits like High Noon, Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, and Country Girl, which earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

However, in a story that could only come from Hollywood, Kelly quit acting at the age of 26 thanks to a chance meeting with Prince Rainier III of Monaco, the principality's sovereign. The two hit it off, and were soon married, making Kelly the Princess of Monaco!

Princess Grace and Prince Rainier at the White House in Washington, D.C., 1961By Robert LeRoy Knudsen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Unable to continue acting due to her duties as royalty, she threw herself into philanthropic and diplomatic work, which she continued until her timely death in 1982, due to suffering a stroke while driving.

Sir Christopher Lee

The late, great Sir Christopher Lee was a man of many talents, and many passions. We all know him as a veteran actor of stage and screen, thanks to his booming voice and immense presence he brought to movies like The Man With The Golden Gun, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and of course, Hammer Films's Dracula series.

There's also his time with the British Commandos in World War II, where he took on clandestine missions that sound like something straight out of Inglourious Basterds (his division was apparently dropped behind enemy lines and instructed by Churchill himself to "set Europe ablaze").

Suffice it to say, the man has one heck of a story. It doesn't end there though! Turns out, Lee is actually a descendant of Charlemagne, or Charles the Great, one of the most famous Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire! Lee was very proud of this fact; so much so that he recorded a heavy metal album about Charlemagne himself!

The next few celebrities are ones you probably won't believe are actually royalty...

Hilary Duff

It's not surprising that the former Disney starlet has only gotten more regal with age (seriously, she avoided so many traps that other former child stars have fallen into). However, what IS surprising is that she's actually, according to some genealogists at least, "America's most royal celebrity."

No, you didn't read that wrong. As Josh Taylor, a genealogist for FindMyPast, has noted, Duff is Queen Elizabeth II's 18th cousin, as both share an ancestor in Edward III. While that doesn't sound like much, it's the closest relation that anyone in the United States has to the monarch, hence the title!

Jessica Chastain

Stop me if you've heard this one before: a Hollywood actress with numerous, critically-acclaimed roles under her belt, meets a member of a foreign country's aristocracy, falls in love, and gets married to them, cementing herself as a new member of said aristocracy.

Jessica Chastain at Cannes.By MisterHP7, from Wikimedia Commons

In a move that could almost be called "pulling a Grace Kelly," Jessica Chastain, star of movies like Zero Dark Thirty, Crimson Peak, and The Martian, has recently found herself married to royalty! More specifically, her now-husband, Gian Luca Pasi De Preposulo, is a Count and member of one of Italy's oldest aristocratic families; their lineage traces all the way back to the year 973!

Robert Pattinson

Yeah, we'd all like to forget the Twilight franchise was ever a thing, but it turns out that casting Pattinson as lead sparkly vampire Edward Cullen might have actually been a more interesting choice than people probably gave it credit for.

It just so happens that Pattinson is able to trace his ancestry back to a rather prolific ruler of the Romanian province of Wallachia: Count Vlad Tepes, AKA Vlad The Impaler. Why is this hilariously appropriate you might ask? Well, Tepes served as the main inspiration for the most prolific vampire in literary history; Dracula. In fact, Dracula's name is based off Tepes' adopted title of "Dracul," or "Son of the Dragon."

Vlad the Impaler or Dracula.By Anonymous via Wikimedia Commons

So yes, the vampire from Twilight is legitimately related to Dracula. Go figure eh?

Which of these surprised you the most?

I've been writing for Shared for 6 years. Along with my cat Lydia, I search for interesting things to share with you!