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 January 8

by Carolina

Clare Balding is one of the country’s most high-profile sports presenters, with gigs hosting BBC Sports Personality of the Year and Olympic coverage.

She is also a keen author with eight books published.

The 50-year-old presenter began her career with a stint as an amateur jockey before heading to the BBC as a trainee.

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Her experience with horse racing was, in part, due to her familial links to the racing world in which her father, Ian Balding, was a top horse trainer.

Clare’s equestrian background is not the only intriguing thing in her family history though – she also has an aristocratic and royal lineage.

Balding’s first famous family link is to comedian Miranda Hart, who is her tenth-cousin. The pair attended Downe House school together.

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

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

Her maternal grandfather was trainer Peter Hastings-Bass and the 17th Earl of Huntingdon was her maternal uncle. He was once the trainer to Queen Elizabeth II.

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Furthermore, Priscilla Hastings was her maternal grandmother. Hastings is descended from the Earls of Derby and was one of the first women elected as a member of the Jockey Club.

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

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

The star’s most high profile link falls on Balding’s matrilineal side.

Her great-great-grandparents Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby and Lady Alice Montagu both descended from Henry VII.

The earl’s family history has been traced back to Sir Thomas Frankland which makes Clare an 11-times-great-granddaughter of Oliver Cromwell.

Who knew?

Clare with her wife Alice

Clare with her wife Alice

Clare is now married to Alice Arnold.

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

They live together with their Tibetan terrier, Archie.

You can catch Clare Balding on BBC’s Pointless Celebrities tonight at 7.40pm.

Got a story you think we should write? Get in touch beth.gulliver@reachplc.com

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Original posted at www.mylondon.news

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