How Benedict Cumberbatch Is Related To King Richard III

It's often a wistful lament: "I wish I was related to someone famous or royalty!" Sometimes it's just hoping that it would liven up their lives. Other times, they might be praying that it could drastically alter the trajectory of their own life path. That is, suddenly getting access to riches that they would not have to struggle as they did in the past. They might even get a good amount of publicity in the process. 

Being related to a celebrity or a monarch would also make a great conversation starter. Well, provided that they were careful about it — otherwise they might attract the wrong kind of attention. Finding it out can be tricky  ... and just trusting the word of another family member can be dangerous, too There are websites out there that can do a good job of tracking one's bloodlines, but other times, it can feel like it requires magic or incredible detective skills. 

When it came to tracing actor Benedict Cumberbatch's line of lineage to King Richard III, neither Sherlock Holmes' powers of deduction nor Doctor Strange's access to the Time Stone were required to find the link. It just took some genealogy. 

There is a lot of distance between Benedict Cumberbatch and King Richard III

Some research uncovered that Benedict Cumberbatch was a very distant relative of King Richard III, per Science Daily. He is a second cousin to the long-dead king — 16 times removed, to be exact. That's pretty far down the family tree, but there is definitely a relation. Part of this came about when King Richard III's remains were found under a parking lot in 2012 — how is that for a juxtaposition of the past and the present? The same genealogy professor that determined that those were, indeed, the monarch's remains, also traced Cumberbatch's family history and made the connection. King Richard III ruled England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485. 

There was a ceremony to formally lay King Richard III to rest in Leicester Cathedral in 2015, per NPR. Cumberbatch was present and he read a poem that had been crafted by the Poet Laureate. It was altogether fitting that he took part in something for his very, very distant cousin.

Ironically, Cumberbatch also played King Richard III in a TV movie in 2016, per IMDb. It was his stellar acting that helped launch him onto the big screen as Doctor Stephen Strange, though. His relation to the former monarch does make for an interesting bit of information for his actor's biography.