The Duchess of Lancaster

Alison Weir's new book, "Mistress of the Monarchy: The Life of Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster" has just hit the bookstores!

Weir mentions only in passing that Katherine Synwford was an ancestor of five American Presidents, last of all George W. Bush (apparently through his mother Barbara), however this is picked up on by almost every reviewer of the book.

"Katherine Swynford's descendants are both illustrious and widespread - among them our present Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales, almost every European monarch and five American presidents, including George Washington and George W Bush."

"5 American Presidents as descendents; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, FDR and George W Bush"

"The York, Tudor and Stuart dynasties all descend from their children, as do such important figures as Winston Churchill and Bertrand Russell. There’s even a link of George W. Bush. ... clerical chroniclers of the time were unsurprisingly harsh about John of Gaunt’s “unspeakable concubine” "

Katherine Swynford is also famous for being the sister-in-law of Chaucer:

'Katherine', Anya Seton’s biography of Katherine Swynford, inspiration for Weir's new book, was formerly a banned book:

Is Bush descended not only from Katherine Swynford, but also from Mohammad? (That is now far more likely than ever could have been imagined. Mohammad = Byzantine Emperor Heraclius)

Katherine Swynford was adopted as a daughter of the Queen of England, Philippa, at a very early age. In that respect she resembled the later Emilia Bassano. Emilia must have hoped that one of her affairs would turn out to be as grandly legitimized.