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Meghan Markle’s great-great-great grandmother used to cook for the Royal Family

Until now, we thought Meghan Markle only became associated with Britain’s most famous family when she met Prince Harry in 2016.

The 37-year-old then went on to officially cement her place when they were married in May of this year and fell pregnant with the couple’s first child.

But it turns out the Duchess of Sussex’s connection to the royals spans more than 160 years – and it’s all because of her great-great-great grandmother, Mary Bird.

Meghan’s relatives have previously claimed Mary worked at Windsor Castle as a maid, but it has now come to light that she was in fact a cook.

According to a database of Royal Household staff, there was a worker named M. Bird, who appeared in the Windsor Castle Weekly Disbursement Book in 1856.

This was around the same time Mary would have been in the UK, reports The Express.

Meghan’s great-great-great grandmother later married Thomas Bird, an Irish shoemaker who served as an officer in the British Army.

Her family disowned her for this and so the couple decided to move to Malta with the Army, where they started a family in 1862.

They had two children together, including Meghan’s great-great grandmother, who was also named Mary.

The family went on to spend the next 20 years living in Malta, but after her husband died, Mary and the children migrated to Canada, before moving to Meredith and finally settling in New Hampshire.

Mary is thought to be connected to Meghan on her father’s side of the family.

While Mary’s role at the castle was of great contrast to Meghan’s newfound royal status, it seems that the two relatives both share a passion for cooking.

The Duchess of Sussex has been pictured baking and cooking several times since her royal wedding.

During her tour of Australia and New Zealand she made a loaf of banana bread for guests at a picnic and has also worked on a cookbook with the Hubb Community Kitchen to raise funds for those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Interest in Meghan’s ancestry comes after photos of the Duchess visiting Malta in March 2015 surfaced online.

The trip, which reportedly included visits to towns such as Mdina, Valletta, Victoria and Dwerja, allowed Meghan to learn more about her family history.

Speaking at the time, she said: "This trip was mostly about trying to understand where I come from, my identity.

"There is something so lovely about fitting in a piece of the puzzle."

The former actress also took part in a photo shoot for fashion magazine Elle UK while there.

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