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Makes Sense (and Sensibility) to Us: Kate Middleton Related to Jane Austen!

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Funny, we always thought that Kate Middleton had a bit of Elizabeth Bennet about her. And now we know why.

The brainbots over at Ancestry.com have dug into the duchess' family tree and uncovered some serious literary genes in her blood: those of iconic novelist Jane Austen.

Let's see...a headstrong, plucky young middle-class English rose sustains a long, storied courtship with a man of means (and, obviously, in want of a wife), finally gets her fairy-tale ending and, in doing so, becomes a heroine to women everywhere?

On second thought, maybe they didn't have to do too much digging to uncover the connection, after all...

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As it happens, Austen is in good company on the Duchess' family tree, sharing branches with Ellen DeGeneres and George Washington (and, uh, kissing cousins Prince William and Prince Harry, but never mind that).

As for her Austen connection, Middleton and the Pride and Prejudice author are technically 11th cousins, six times removed, related through common ancestor Henry Percy, the 2nd Earl of Northumberland. Percy, (who lived from 1392 to 1455) is Kate's 16th great-grandfather, and Austen's 10th.

"Finding this connection between the Duchess of Cambridge and Jane Austen is very exciting since, in many ways, Catherine is the modern Jane Austen heroine: a middle-class girl marrying the future king of England," Ancestry.com's lead historian Anastasia Harman said.

"Jane Austen may have written about happily-ever-after, but it seems Catherine has found a nonfiction hero to spend her life with—far past the epilogue."

Meanwhile, it's not just literary greatness that's in Kate's blood—timing is, as well. The connection comes on the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen's first novel, Sense and Sensibility.

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