Like any prospective parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will doubtless hope to pass on their best traits to their unborn child.
But, while he or she may inherit William’s rugged features, or Kate’s high forehead and heart-shaped face, the royal baby could spring a hair-raising surprise – a head of pure ginger.
In fact, geneticists believe there is a 50:50 chance of the third in line to the throne being born with the same flame-haired good looks as its uncle, Prince Harry.
50/50 chance: Geneticists believe there is a good chance that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's newborn child will have ginger hair
The scientists tested more than 5,000 people in Britain for their ancestral DNA and discovered that an extraordinarily high number – 38.3 per cent – are carriers of the red-haired gene, though most do not know it.
‘For the child to have red hair, both parents need to be carriers,’ said Alistair Moffat, director of BritainsDNA which carried out the research.
Just like his uncle? The Duke and Duchess' child has a 50/50 chance of having red hair like Prince Harry
‘Princess Diana and Prince Charles must both have been since Prince William’s brother, Harry, has gloriously red hair.
‘The way the genetic dice fall, that means Prince William has a 67 per cent chance of being a carrier of the gene variant. The question remains, is Kate a carrier?
‘As a result of our study, we can say she has a 38.3 per cent chance of being one. If those percentages are averaged, it is 52 per cent likely that Kate and Wills will have a red-haired child.’
One bookmaker, William Hill, is quoting odds of 8/1 on the baby having red hair, but Mr Moffat said: ‘I think it is more like even money, and if those are still the odds I’ll be having a bet!’
Although only around 5 per cent of the UK population – 3,132,000 people – have red hair, BritainsDNA says its research suggests there are 24million carriers of the redhead gene in the country.
By contrast, only about 1-2 per cent of the world’s population has red hair.
Mr Moffat, whose company is based in Melrose, Roxburghshire, believes the UK’s gloomy northern climate has seen a deliberate genetic adaptation, including fairer skin, to help exploit rare sunny days and boost vitamin D production.
He said: ‘We have an Atlantic climate and we need light skin to get as much vitamin D from the sun as possible.’
Mr Moffat said if you do not have red hair the only way to tell whether you have the gene is by a DNA test, or if you have red-headed forebears or children.
Carriers: Prince Charles and Princess Diana must have both carried the ginger gene for Harry to have red hair. Diana is pictured holding Prince William
Royal redheads: Elizabeth I and her father Henry VIII are two monarch from history who had red hair
He added: ‘For example, neither my wife Lindsay nor I have red hair, but two of our children turned out to have red hair. And since both parents have to be carriers, we must have been, even though there is no sign of red hair in either family.’
He points to a long tradition of red hair in the monarchy. ‘Three of the greatest monarchs had it – Queen Elizabeth I, Henry II and the Richard the Lionheart were all red-heads,’ he said.
There was also a famous ancestor in the family of Princess Diana, William’s mother, John Poyntz Spencer, the fifth earl, known as the ‘Red Earl’ because of his long red beard.
- Anyone wishing to find out more about their ancestry or to sign up for a test should visit the BritainsDNA website at www.britainsdna.com.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2250911/Is-Kate-Middleton-expecting-ginger-heir-Even-chance-royal-couples-child-redhead.html#ixzz2FcGxom00
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