Royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle is set to join the ranks of the British monarchy when she marries Prince Harry this summer but it seems a distant relative of the American actress has already got links with the Royal Family.

Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleIs Meghan Markle descended from royalty?

A researcher at the Boston-based New England Historic Genealogical Society, one of the world's premier genealogical organisations, said Miss Markle is a direct descendant of King Edward III, who ruled from 1327 until 1377.

Genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts said Miss Markle's royal lineage comes through an early immigrant to Boston, the Reverend William Skipper, who arrived in New England in 1639 and that he is an ancestor of Miss Markle's father Thomas, an Emmy-winning cinematographer.

It seems the former Suits actress is related to Reverend Skipper and he studied at Cambridge University.

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 It is also believed Skipper, Miss Markle’s great-grandfather nine times removed, went to Sidney Sussex College in the early 1600s and studied with Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, Oliver Cromwell.

He graduated with a bachelor of arts at the same time as Cromwell, whose skull is said to be buried within the college grounds.

The connection, discovered by Australian historian Michael Reed, is all the more significant because Miss Markle could gain the title Duchess of Sussex after she marries Prince Harry.

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Mr Reed, from Hallam College in Melbourne, Australia, said: "The Rev Skipper was at the college from 1612 and completed a bachelor of arts by 1618.

"He was the esteemed Church of England rector at Thorpe-in-the Marsh until 1638 and then decided to go to America, to New England, to preach.

"We don't know much about his life in New England but he was dead by 1650. Meghan Markle is descended from his daughter Jane, by his first wife."