The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Megan Markle, photographed during their trip to Ireland in 2018.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Megan Markle, photographed during their trip to Ireland in 2018.Getty

Meghan Markle is African American, Dutch, English, and Irish, and her Irish roots have a compelling story to go with them.

On May 19, 2018, Prince Harry married Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle and the drama hasn't stopped since then! As the world still reels from Harry's shocking statements last weekend, we take a look at the former actress's fascinating Irish roots. 

It may be in the distant past, but the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle does have a direct link to Irish ancestry.

Markle's great-great-great-grandmother Mary Smith was born in Ireland. She moved to London in the mid-1800s and married a British soldier named Thomas Bird.

Having wed a British soldier, Mary Smith's family apparently disowned her.

Surprisingly, experts say Mary Smith Bird may well have worked in Windsor Castle for the Royal family as there is an M. Bird listed as a servant in 1856. It would be quite ironic if the latest royal, Archie, had family who once worked for the monarch.

According to the family genealogist, Bird later moved to Malta where they had two daughters. Later, following the death of Thomas, the family again moved to Canada, and then later to the USA where they ultimately ended up in Pennsylvania.

Megan Markle and Harry at Trinity College, in July 2018.

Megan Markle and Harry at Trinity College, in July 2018.

Mary Bird’s granddaughter, also named Mary, was born in Malta in 1962.

The research was carried out by former US Air Colonel Ken Barbie, whose wife Susan is a second cousin of Meghan’s father, Thomas.

Meghan’s father is said to have visited Ireland many times and grew up in Pennsylvania of Dutch-Irish roots.

In July 2018, just two months after their much-hyped royal wedding, Meghan Markle and her new husband Prince Harry visited Ireland on an official tour.

* Originally published on our sister publication, IrishCentral, in May 2018.