Link share

BBC Pointless Celebrities: The Royal Line of Clare Balding and Its Connection to Oliver Cromwell

Clare Balding is one of the country’s foremost sports presenters, with concerts hosting the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year and Olympic coverage.

She is also an avid author with eight published books.

The 50-year-old presenter started her career with a stint as an amateur jockey before moving to the BBC as an intern.

READ MORE: London Covid: PCR test “no longer necessary” after positive lateral flow result

His experience with horse racing was, in part, due to his family ties to the racing world in which his father, Ian Balding, was a top horse trainer.

Clare’s equestrian background isn’t the only intriguing thing about her family history – she also has aristocratic and royal lineage.

Balding’s famous first family connection is actress Miranda Hart, who is his tenth cousin. The couple attended Downe House School together.

They share a nine-time great-grandfather in Sir William Leveson-Gower, 4th Baronet.

One of Clare’s ancestors is Sir William Leveson-Gower, 4th Baronet.

His maternal grandfather was trainer Peter Hastings-Bass and the 17th Earl of Huntingdon was his maternal uncle. He was once the coach of Queen Elizabeth II.

Do you want to stay on top of the latest news, views, features and opinions from all over the city?

MyLondon’s brilliant newsletter, The 12, is packed with all the latest news to keep you entertained, informed and uplifted.

You will receive 12 stories straight to your inbox at around 12 noon. It’s the perfect read for lunch.

And what’s more, it’s FREE!

The MyLondon team are telling stories of London to Londoners. Our journalists cover all the news you need – from city hall to your local streets, so you never miss a moment.

Don’t waste time and sign up for The 12 newsletter here.

In addition, Priscilla Hastings was his maternal grandmother. Hastings is descended from the Earls of Derby and was one of the first women elected to the Jockey Club.

Appearing on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? in 2017, Clare discovered that she was also the great-granddaughter of Sir Malcolm Bullock, an MP.

His sexuality had to be hidden because homosexuality was illegal in Britain at the time.

The star’s most publicized connection falls to Balding’s matrilineal side.

His great-great-grandparents Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby and Lady Alice Montagu are both descendants of Henry VII.

The Earl’s family history dates back to Sir Thomas Frankland, making Clare the 11-time great-granddaughter of Oliver Cromwell.

Who knew?

Claire with his wife Alice
Claire with his wife Alice

Clare is now married to Alice Arnold.

The couple married in a private ceremony in 2015 after entering into a civil partnership in 2006.

They live with their Tibetan terrier, Archie.

You can see Clare Balding in Pointless Celebrities on the BBC tonight at 7.40pm.

Do you think we should write a story? Get in touch [email protected]

Want more MyLondon? Sign up for our daily newsletters for all the latest and greatest from all over London here.