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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.

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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.



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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.

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