Danny Dyer

BBC 1, Wednesday 23 and 30 January 2019, at 9 pm and then on BBC i-player

‘What a man Anthony was. He’s livened me right up’ – Danny Dyer 

Danny Dyer, famous for his role as Mick Carter, landlord of the Queen Vic in EastEnders, was the subject of a fascinating episode of Who Do You Think You Are? that revealed his descent from royalty; the moment when he was presented with his  pedigree going back to Edward III was voted ‘No. 2 TV highlight of 2016’. During the heat wave in the summer of  2018, Danny  and I were involved in a new BBC 1 show, Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family, which explores his ancestry in detail. My contributions were sorting out his family tree and the associated coats of arms of his noble and royal ancestors, presenting him with it, and sending him of on his journey of discovery.  The series was broadcast on BBC 1 on Wednesday 23 and 30 January 2019 at 9 pm.

A fuller story of my involvement is on the website of the book’s publisher, Pen and Sword.

The particular line through which he derives his royal blood happens to be the same one that provides royal blood for Kate Middleton,  Duchess of Cambridge; the late Princess Diana; the late Queen Mother; Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex; Miranda Hart – and myself. The line comes down Elizabeth Percy, the daughter of Harry ‘Hotspur’ Percy and his wife Elizabeth Mortimer ,who was a descendant of Edward III, as follows (as revealed on Who Do You Think You Are?, with some notes of my own on the connections with which this provides Danny to some other well-known people):

Elizabeth Percy = John Clifford, 7th Baron Clifford (d. 1422).

Mary Clifford = Sir Philip Wentworth (d. 1464). They had a daughter Elizabeth Wentworth, wife of Sir Martin at See, who was ancestress of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and of:

Sir Henry Wentworth (d.c. 1499) = Anne Say

Margery Wentworth (d. 1550) = Sir John Seymour (1475-1536), parents of Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII; of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset) ancestor of both the late Queen Mother and also of the late Diana, Princess of Wales) and of:

Elizabeth Seymour = Gregory, 1st Baron Cromwell

Henry, 2nd Baron Cromwell (c. 1538-1592) = Mary Paulet (d. 1592)

Catherine Cromwell (d. 1621) = Sir Lionel Tollemache, 1st Baronet (d. 1612)

Anne Tollemache = Robert Gosnold (d. 1634)

Robert Gosnold (d. 1658) = Dorothy Jegon

Lionel Gosnold (d.c. 1702) -= Rebecca Hardy

Walter Gosnold (d. 1713) = Elizabeth (d. 1700)

Tendring Gosnold = Ann Reynolds

Charles Gosnold (d. 1788) = Sarah French

Ann Gosnold (d. 1843) = James Buttivant (d. 1824)

Charles Buttivant (d. 1865) = Hannah Wing

Albert Buttivant (d. 1935) = Ann Howcutt (d. 1933)

Mary Ann Buttivant (1877-1960) = John Wallace

Mary Ann Wallace (d. 1941) = Arthur Rudd (d. 1994)

Joyce M. Rudd (b. 1931) = John D. Dyer (1931-2015)

Antony Dyer (b. 1955) = Christine Meakin (b. 1955)

Danny Dyer (b. 1977) = Joanne Mas

Dani Dyer (b. 1996), star of Love Island

If you want to find possible blue blooded and aristocratic links in your family tree, you may enjoy my book Tracing Your Aristocratic Ancestors,  and if you like you can contact me to investigate your family history on a  professional basis.


James Walton wrote in The Spectator (“Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family might well be the oddest TV show of recent times“, 26 January 2019”: “The first stop in Wednesday’s opening episode was ‘a geezer called Anthony’ — or, as he may prefer to be known, the royal genealogist Anthony Adolph, who, immaculate in matching cravat and handkerchief, greeted Dyer with a slightly uncertain ‘lovely to meet you’. Anthony then set up the programme by tracing the Dyer family tree back to Rollo the Viking and recommending a few forebears to investigate further — largely, as it transpired, through the medium of fancy dress. But, wondered Dyer anxiously, ‘Am I an heir to the throne?’ ‘Yes you are,’ replied Anthony with a commendably straight face. ‘It doesn’t stop at ten or 20. It goes on to the hundreds and thousands, and you are there. At some point.’ Suitably reassured, and ‘with scrolls coming out of me earholes’, Dyer set off along the lines suggested, which meant that his first task was ‘to get Vikinged up out of my brain’… There’s no denying that this was all good, if distinctly peculiar fun — and you could certainly argue that a discussion of, say, Louis IX is unlikely to make BBC1 primetime in any other circumstances. Yet, what made the whole thing so especially odd is that it was never clear whether Dyer, the academics he met and even the programme itself were in on the joke” [we were].

Jim Shelley in the Daily Mail Online (“The BBC treated the nation’s second favourite Englishman like a court jester”, 23 January 2019) considered a mention of me to be number 3  in his “12 most Danny Dyer moments from Danny Dyer’s Right Royal Family”: “Anthony’s “Anthony’s livened me right up… I’ve got scrolls coming out of me ear’oles!” – Danny’s reaction to meeting royal genealogist Anthony Adolph and the family tree he gave him which was much more detailed than the “good bit of kit” he’d got on Who Do You Think You Are?”

Mike Ward in the Daily Express (“All hail Danny the king”, 23 January 2019) wrote: “Danny’s opening encounter is with ‘a geezer called Anthony’, more formally known as royal genealogist Anthony Adolph. Anthony presents him with an updated family tree, featuring extra royals (oh God, please, no) and with links now dating back as far as 846 AD, to a Viking called Rollo … the experts seem to love it. They rarely stop smiling. If they’re having fun with this,. in the end why shouldn’t we?”.

If you want to find possible blue blooded and aristocratic links in your family tree, you may enjoy my book Tracing Your Aristocratic Ancestors,  and if you like you can contact me to investigate your family history on a  professional basis.