Prince George of Cambridge: is a Jew destined to ascend the Throne?
While the media obsess about the duration of Kate’s labour pains, her breast-feeding plans, her post-baby weight loss regime and the order of the bath/shower at Bucklebury, there is something about His Royal Highness The Prince George of Cambridge which merits rather more attention than all this tedious tabloid trivia.
There was some intriguing correspondence last month in The Times (15 June 2013) concerning the family tree of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Former BBC court correspondent Michael Cole suggested that her genealogy evidences a very significant strand of DNA which places this new third-in-line to the British Throne in direct succession not only to William the Conqueror, but also to the Throne of Israel and the Sceptre of Judah.
It was a strange letter for The Times to print, but the reasoning went thus:
Catherine’s mother is Carol Middleton (née Goldsmith), who is the daughter of Ronald Goldsmith and Dorothy Harrison. According to Mr Cole, both of these were Jews. The parents of Dorothy Harrison were Thomas Harrison and Elizabeth Temple, both of whom were also, according to Mr Cole, Jews.
Elizabeth Temple was the daughter of Thomas Temple and Elizabeth Myers, who was the daughter of Joseph Myers, who was the son of another Joseph Myers. This was apparently a well-known 19th-century name in English Jewry meaning ‘son of Mayer’. In fact it is a patronymic surname of Jewish Ashkenazic origin, derived from the Hebrew ‘Meyer’, which is etymologically linked to ‘Meir’ (as in Golda).
All of this means that Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is a Jew on her matriarchal side. Ergo, Prince George of Cambridge is a Jew according to Jewish religious custom and law.
Contra this is the expert opinion of Doreen Berger, the chairwoman of the Jewish Genealogy Society, who is ‘100 per cent sure’ that Catherine is not kosher; that these generations of Goldsmiths and Myers were not Jews at all. Not only are these surnames shared by Jew and Gentiles alike, but, according to Ms Berger, the Goldsmiths and Myers were ‘not from Jewish areas’. The Jewish Chronicle authoritatively informs us: ‘Ms Berger said her research was definitive but she acknowledged that it would not prevent people clinging to the idea that Prince William had married an authentically Jewish princess.’
It is odd that Ms Berger suddenly inflates Michael Cole’s claim of Semitic blood lineage to the spurious appropriation of a royal title: ‘Jewish princess’ appears to have come out of nowhere. That aside, Ms Berger’s 100-per-cent certainty is undoubtedly bolstered by the undeniable fact that Ronald Goldsmith and Dorothy Harrison were married in 1953 at Holy Trinity Church in Southall; and that Thomas Harrison and Elizabeth Temple were married in 1934 at Ludhoe Parish Church in Co Durham; and that Thomas Temple and Elizabeth Myers were married in 1894 at Tudhoe Parish Church in Co Durham; and that Joseph Myers and his father the other Joseph Myers seem to be farm labourers from Tudhoe in Co Durham, who were probably also married in their local parish churches, but His Grace really can’t be bothered to find out.
Of course, like many of that era, the family might have converted to the Church of England for social reasons. Yet such pressures were usually restricted to the middle and upper classes: Joseph Myers was a farm labourer, and they tended to accept their God-given lot and weren’t overly concerned with climbing the social ladder. Of course, they may never have been religiously-observant Jews at all.
On the face of it, the weight of evidence inclines toward Ms Berger, who is, as we know, ‘100 per cent sure’ about her 'definitive' research. And what on earth does a former BBC court correspondent know about genealogy anyway?
So what possessed the Editor of The Times to print such unadulterated tosh?
If a Jew were to inherit the Throne of the United Kingdom, a son or daughter of Abraham would once again rest upon the Coronation Stone – also known as the Stone of Scone, the Stone of Destiny or Stone of Jacob.
There are a number of mythical beliefs and cultural legends surrounding this block of sandstone: some believe it to be the very one mentioned in Genesis (28:10-22), upon which Jacob rested his weary head and received a vision from God that his descendants would inherit the land around him, and that through them all nations of the earth would be blessed. He used it as a pillow (it is also known as Jacob’s Pillow), and then established it as a monument at Bet-El (the ‘House of God’: it is also rather confusingly known as Jacob’s Pillar).
The stone was situated in the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey from 1308 until John Major gifted it back to Scotland in 1996 as a sop to the Nationalists. It was certainly used for the coronations of Scottish kings throughout the Middle Ages, and by the kings of Ireland before that.
Without knowing the personal religious beliefs of the Letters Editor at The Times, it is difficult to know why he considered Mr Cole's letter worth printing. But there are certainly some Christian groups who believe not only that Prince George of Cambridge is Jewish, but that the entire Royal Family is descended from ancient Israelites, and that the British Throne is the de facto throne of King David.
British Israelism (or Anglo-Israelism) is predicated on the belief that the indigenous people of Western Europe are direct descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who were ‘cleansed’ from their land in 721BC (don’t knock it: even the BBC reports Israeli immigration in these terms).
They moved through Assyria and Parthia, and in the early centuries AD settled in what is now Western Europe. The Ten Tribes British-Israel theory used to be a foundational doctrine of Herbert W Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God, and it remains the belief of its offshoots the Philadelphia Church of God, the United Church of God, and the Living Church of God. The theological and historical reasoning may be read HERE.
That articles says: ‘The central tenets of British Israelism have been refuted by evidence from modern genetic, linguistic, archaeological and philological research.’
As with Ms Berger, Wikipedia sounds ‘100 per cent sure’ and 'definitive' (adducing no footnotes of authoritative refutation at all) that the Royal Family is not descended from the line of King David.
Professor Stephen Oppenhiemer in the Department of Anthropology at Oxford University wrote a book in 2006 entitled The Origins of the British, in which he argued that neither Anglo-Saxons nor Celts had much impact on the genetics of the inhabitants of the British Isles, and that British ancestry mainly traces back to the Palaeolithic Iberian people, now represented best by Basques. Professor Oppenheimer knows a thing or two about genetic, anthropological, linguistic and archaeological research.
He repudiates the accounts of Gildas (6th century AD) and Bede (7th century) that tell of Saxons and Angles invading over the 5th and 6th centuries: ‘Gildas, in particular, sprinkles his tale with “rivers of blood” descriptions of Saxon massacres. And then there is the well-documented history of Anglian and Saxon kingdoms covering England for 500 years before the Norman invasion.’ For Oppenheimer, there is no truth in the myth that the English are almost all descended from 5th-century invaders, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, from the Danish peninsula, who wiped out the indigenous Celtic population of England.
He is of the view that the English derive most of their current gene pool from the same early Basque source as the Irish, Welsh and Scots: ‘There were many later invasions, as well as less violent immigrations, and each left a genetic signal, but no individual event contributed much more than 5 per cent to our modern genetic mix.’ He writes:
Many archaeologists still hold this view of a grand iron-age Celtic culture in the centre of the continent, which shrank to a western rump after Roman times. It is also the basis of a strong sense of ethnic identity that millions of members of the so-called Celtic diaspora hold. But there is absolutely no evidence, linguistic, archaeological or genetic, that identifies the Hallstatt or La Tène regions or cultures as Celtic homelands. The notion derives from a mistake made by the historian Herodotus 2,500 years ago when, in a passing remark about the “Keltoi,” he placed them at the source of the Danube, which he thought was near the Pyrenees. Everything else about his description located the Keltoi in the region of Iberia.The Professor’s genetic analysis links maternally-transmitted mitochondrial DNA found in Italy, France, Spain with that found in Cornwall, Wales, Ireland and the English south coast:
Further evidence for the Mediterranean origins of Celtic invaders is preserved in medieval Gaelic literature. According to the orthodox academic view of “iron-age Celtic invasions” from central Europe, Celtic cultural history should start in the British Isles no earlier than 300 BC. Yet Irish legend tells us that all six of the cycles of invasion came from the Mediterranean via Spain, during the late Neolithic to bronze age, and were completed 3,700 years ago.He finds greater genetic similarities between the southern English and Belgians than the Anglo-Saxon homelands at the base of the Danish peninsula: ‘The most likely reason for the genetic similarities between these neighbouring countries and England is that they all had similar prehistoric settlement histories.’
When I examined dates of intrusive male gene lines to look for those coming in from northwest Europe during the past 3,000 years, there was a similarly low rate of immigration, by far the majority arriving in the Neolithic period. The English maternal genetic record (mtDNA) is consistent with this and contradicts the Anglo-Saxon wipeout story. English females almost completely lack the characteristic Saxon mtDNA marker type still found in the homeland of the Angles and Saxons. The conclusion is that there was an Anglo-Saxon invasion, but of a minority elite type, with no evidence of subsequent “sexual apartheid.”So, based on the overall genetic perspective of the British, it seems that Celts, Belgians, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Vikings and Normans were all immigrant minorities compared with the Basque pioneers, who first ventured into the empty, chilly lands so recently vacated by the great ice sheets.
How does that correspond with historical analysis of the migration of Lost Tribes of Israel?
Of course it is not possible to be certain or sure: these are largely matters of faith or conjecture upon which His Grace is entirely agnostic. But it does seem rather maladroit of the genealogical expert Ms Berger to assert rather feverishly that she is ‘100 per cent sure’ of her 'definitive' research that the Duchess of Cambridge is not of Jewish descent, when we all may be.