EastEnders Star Danny Dyer Is Directly Related To Two English Kings

He’s got more in common with Queen Vic than you’d think.

Danny Dyer
Top geezer Danny Dyer has gone from film star punchline to TV treasure. Image Picture Tristan Fewings/Getty

EastEnders star and diamond geezer Danny Dyer might be the last person you’d expect to be descended from royalty, but the actor made a shock discovery on Who Do You Think You Are? this week.

In shock scenes, the actor learned that he’s directly related to English kings William the Conqueror and Edward III.

“It’s crazy. But the fact of the matter is that I am a direct descendant of royalty,” Danny told Radio Times.

Appearing in this week’s episode of the BBC show, Dyer also traced his ancestry back all the way to Henry VIII’s advisor Thomas Cromwell.

Speaking about his new affiliation with Cromwell, who was played by Mark Rylance in 2015 series Wolf Hall, Danny said: “He came from a slum, I come from a slum. Cromwell left the country at 14, I started acting at 14. He was a self-taught lawyer. I’m a self-taught actor.”

Mark Rylance as Danny Dyer's ancestor Thomas Cromwell
Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell Image BBC

“Cromwell had two daughters and a son. I’ve got two daughters and a son. Cromwell wrote his last letter to Henry VIII begging for his life, on 24 July, which is my birthday … And I drink in the Anne Boleyn pub.”

It’s not the first time that celebrities have discovered they are related to William the Conquerer on the BBC show. Rower Matthew Pinsent, comedian Alexander Armstrong and broadcaster Frank Gardner all discovered similar ancestry in past series.

Who Do You Think You Are? airs on Thursday at 8pm on BBC One.

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.