In celebration of the release of the movie “Maleficent,” (a “Sleeping Beauty” origin story about the malevolent fairy) we discovered that Elle Fanning has more in common with the character she portrays, Princess Aurora, than she may have thought.
Fanning is actually the 22nd great-granddaughter of King Edward III, making her a long-lost princess. Her connection to King Edward III, who ruled from 1327-1377, makes Fanning of royal blood, a princess both on and off the big screen.
If Fanning’s newly uncovered title of princess wasn’t enough, it turns out she has a second tie to the royal family. The actress is also a relative of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. They share a connection to King Edward III, the grandson of King Edward I also known as “Edward Longshanks.”
While looking into Fanning’s family tree, researchers uncovered another magical connection. According to historical records, Fanning’s 2nd great-grandmother Mamie (Ozburn) Odum was known as the “Sunshine Lady” – a woman known for spreading good cheer. She was a collector of unique antiques, including glass slippers, a beloved item from another classic fairy tale, “Cinderella.”
With such a strong royal lineage, and a great-grandmother who may have been her generation’s fairy godmother, the starlet was a natural fit to play the part of Princess Aurora.
Michelle Ercanbrack, family historian for Ancestry.com: “It’s exciting when art imitates reality, and Elle’s storied family history adds another layer of magic to her portrayal of Aurora. Whether its royals or villains, there’s a story in every family tree, and you’ll never know what you might discover unless you look.”