The Chases Anne Hegerty discovers the Queen is her cousin as royal links emerge

The Chase star Anne Hegerty was shocked to discover she is related to royalty – including the current Royal Family.

The ITV brainbox is best known for beating hopeful quiz contestants on The Chase, which is hosted by Bradley Walsh.

The champion quizzer also starred on the 2018 series of ITV's I'm A Celebrity, where she overcame her fears in the jungle.

However, it turns out the star is also the Queen's 19th cousin – meaning she has some impressive royal links.

Anne unearths her dazzling royal lineage on Tuesday night's episode of ITV's DNA Journey (April 5).

However, she admits she's already heard this before from her grandmother but didn't think to believe it as her gran was a "tremendous liar".

She said: "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."

Anne's royal family links come through her mother's line, and her great grandfather was King Robert the Bruce.

The Chaser is related to a family called Hayes via marriage to Robert the Bruce's daughter Princess Elizabeth in 1370.

It means Anne is related to the current Royal Family and Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.

Luckily for fans, as the Queen's 19th cousin, it doesn't look like she'll be ditching the quiz show for the throne room anytime soon.

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Talking about her immediate family on the show, Anne said: "My mother was always deeply disapproving of the idea of anyone knowing about their ancestors.

"She’d say, ‘it doesn’t prove a thing, dear’.

"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.

Anne added: "But I’ve already grown up to be a terrible snob, so really there’s nothing to hide."

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Hegerty joined The Chase as The Governess back in 2010, but she started her career as a journalist as a reporter and feature writer at the South Wales Argus in Newport.

The Chase champ also opened up about being diagnosed with Asperger's, and how her family "exploded".

She said: "I tend to be in a way rather cynical about families.

“People say, ‘were you brought up in a nuclear family?’ and I was like, ‘it kind of exploded, so yeah’.

“My dad left home just before Christmas. He left my mother a note saying, ‘for Christmas 1970, one house free from husband’."

Anne is joined by fellow Chaser Shaun Wallace on her ancestry mission, which begins at Albert Dock in Liverpool.

DNA Journey is on ITV Tuesday at 9pm.

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