Historians have made the claim The Queen is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic faith.
The claim was first published in 1986 by Burke’s Peerage, a genealogical publisher described as ‘the definitive guide to the genealogy and heraldry of the Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Landed Gentry of the United Kingdom’.
According to an expert on royal genealogy, The Queen can trace her lineage to the Earl of Cambridge who, in the 14th century, traced his ancestry to medieval Muslim Spain, specifically Fatima, the Prophet’s daughter.
Burke’s Peerage found The Queen descends from a Muslim princess called Zaida, who fled Seville in the 11th century before converting to Christianity.
Zaida went on to have a son, Sancho, to the King Al-Mu’tamid ibn Abbad of Seville, whose ancestors went on to marry the Earl of Cambridge in the 11th century.
Genealogical records of early-medieval Spain support the claim and it’s been verified by Ali Gomaa, the former grand mufti of Egypt.
Burke’s publishing director wrote in 1986:
It’s little known by the British people the blood of Muhammad flows in the veins of the queen. However, all Moslem religious leaders are proud of this fact. [sic]
However, some historians have cast doubt on the claim, saying Zaida’s origins are ‘debatable’ and her connection to the prophet tenuous.
Sceptics believe Zaida was the daughter of a wine-drinking caliph descended from the Prophet or, she married into his family as opposed to being a blood relation.
As you’d expect, reactions to the news have been mixed, to say the least.
The Daily Mail claims Abdelhamid Al-Auouni welcomed the news writing in the Moroccan newspaper Al-Ousboue:
It builds a bridge between our two religions and kingdoms.
Meanwhile, others celebrated the news by posting in the newspaper’s comment section.
One user, named Bev, wrote:
YAY GREAT NEWS!!! A partially Muslím royal family and stunningly beautiful Princess Meghan. Finally we have diversity to make us proud and represent New Britain where everyone is welcome to come and join us Prayers and Love Bev xxx
Others however, have been outraged, despite the fact the news has literally no bearing on their lives.
One commenter, by the name of Bristolbeau, wrote: ‘Absolute 100% PC rubbish, fake news, stop insulting us!’ while another wrote: ‘Ha !!! We are sposed to believe this propaganda?’ [sic]
Others pointed out how, if you trace anyone’s lineage back far enough, you discover – shock horror – we’re all related to each other eventually, missing the point there’s a difference between ‘related to’ and ‘directly descended from’.
In Islamic doctrine, Muhammad is a prophet and God’s messenger, who confirms the teachings preached previously by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets.
Muslims believe he was the final prophet of God in all the main branches of Islam who united Arabia into a single Muslim country and his teachings form the basis of Islamic religious belief.
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.