On Thursday night the BBC aired the latest episode of Who Do You Think You Are?
It fascinatingly explored the maternal line of the BBC’s Security correspondent, Frank Gardner. His mother’s family turn out to have been descended from William the Conqueror in a direct line that went through a Tudor knight who, having picked the wrong side in the power struggle between the Duke of Somerset and Warwick, ended losing his head at the Tower of London.
Frank was seen in the broadcast to be incensed by the unfair treatment of his ancestor Sir Michael Stanhope, who was beheaded on being found guilty on circumstantial evidence.
The programme traced the journalist’s maternal line through 28 generations back to William I.
A slightly different angle on Frank’s family history has been discovered in this article published on TheGenealogist website. A diplomatic incident involving Frank Gardner’s father!