Dame Judi Dench’s surprising royal connection revealed—‘I had no idea’

Judi Dench discovered she has an unlikely royal connection on Who Do You Think You Are?

Dame Judi Dench’s royal connection revealed
(Image credit: Getty)

Dame Judi Dench has discovered something we lowkey suspected all along—she just so happens to be connected to royalty. 

Having never been one to stay quiet on her personal life—Judi has discussed having sex in her 80s in the past—the Oscar-winning actress was more than excited to share her genealogy journey with the public on Who Do You Think You Are?

The No Time to Die star jumped at the opportunity to investigate her family history on the popular BBC documentary series, admitting she didn’t know “anything” about her mother’s side prior to appearing on the show. 

“I was very interested to find out more. I know that we have the head of a unicorn as our family crest and I was very interested to find out whether it had a motto below it,” she said. 

British actress Judi Dench poses for a photograph upon arrival for the UK premiere of "Victoria & Abdul" in London on September 5, 2017

(Image credit: TOLGA AKMEN / Contributor via Getty Images)

Like many celebrities who have signed up for the historical show, Judi had some concerns about what its researchers might dig up. A number of past participants have been shocked by the findings, including Kate Winslet, who burst into tears when she was told that her great-great-great-grandfather had been lashed as punishment for stealing food for his family. 

"I am sure that investigating anyone’s past would have parts that could surprise or even shock you," said Judi ahead of the show's airing. "The work that researchers do is so thorough that there are bound to be some surprises to be found. Naturally, I was concerned about the possibility of what I might be told." 

Fortunately for Judi, the details of her family tree were far from disturbing. 

In a classic case of life imitating art, the Shakespeare in Love actress was informed that she holds monarchical ties off-screen too. Judi’s maternal ancestors had royal connections, with one female member even holding the prestigious status of a lady in waiting in the Danish court. The revelation left the BAFTA-winning actress, who has played the Queen multiple times throughout her career, desperate to dig up more. 

Judi Dench as the Queen

Judi Dench playing Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love

(Image credit: Getty)

“I had no idea about any of that. Or even that we had any Danish connections but this I have found out is my Mother’s family and now of course I want to explore it further,” she said. 

Judi also found out she has Swedish connections, a fact she will now remember every time she sees her porcelain reflection. 

“I look in the mirror all the time now and think “awwww Scandinavia!” she said. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.