She could soon be betrothed to a Prince, but Meghan Markle might not be the first in her family to have a Royal connection - albeit in a very different capacity.

The American actress's relatives - who are researching their family tree - say her great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Bird, worked at the Royal palaces, reports the Daily mail.

A database of Royal Household staff reveals a worker called M. Bird, who appears in the Windsor Castle Weekly Disbursement Book in 1856, which fits with the time that Mary would have been there.

Details of Mary Bird's life are scarce, but she was born in Ireland before settling in England.

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She married English soldier Thomas Bird, and was subsequently disowned by her family.

The couple had three daughters, including Meghan's great-great-grandmother, also named Mary, who was born in Malta in 1862.

After her husband died, Mary took her daughters to Canada, before settling in the US.

Miss Markle's British roots were discovered by former US Air Force Colonel Ken Barbi, whose wife Susan is a second cousin of Miss Markle's father, Thomas.

Mr Barbi said last night: "It is extraordinary to think that one of Mary's descendants looks likely to marry Prince Harry."