New research has traced Princess Charlene of Monaco's ancestors back to the 1520s and a prominent Dublin family called the Fagans.
The research, carried out by genealogy researchers Eneclann for Tourism Ireland, shows that Princess Charlene descends from one of the most successful gentlemen-merchant families in Dublin in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The Fagans made a number of enduring contributions to the development of Dublin.
In 1592, Richard and Christopher Fagan, the Princess’s great (x12) grandfathers, were key figures in the foundation of Trinity College; and in the 1660s, Christopher Fagan, the Princess’s great (x9) grandfather, sold the manor of Phoenix to the Duke of Ormond to create a royal deer park – which we know today as the Phoenix Park.
Yesterday, Princess Charlene was presented with a Certificate of Irish Heritage by HE Rory Montgomery, Irish Ambassador to France, in the Prince’s Palace in Monaco, with her husband, Prince Albert, also in attendance.
The Certificate of Irish Heritage is an official recognition by the Irish Government of those who are proud of their Irish ancestry and heritage.
Other celebrities to have received a Certificate in recent years include Tom Cruise, comedian Jimmy Carr, former US President Bill Clinton and actor Daniel Day Lewis.
While the Irish connections of Prince Albert, and his mother Princess Grace, are well documented, this latest research reveals previously unknown connections.
At the end of the 17th century, the Fagan family moved to Killarney, where they continued to prosper in international commerce, trading with the East Indies and colonial America; they had homes in both Kerry and Cork. The last of the Princess’s direct ancestors born in Ireland was her great (x4) grandfather, Christopher Sullivan Fagan, who was baptised in St Mary’s, Shandon, in Cork in 1781.