Cousins: Student helps discover Cameron’s historic Russian relation

A student at the University who hit the headlines for spotting a striking similarity between Prime Minister David Cameron and former Empress of Russia, Catherine II the Great, has helped to discover that the pair are cousins.

Third-year politics and history undergraduate Sophie Gadd noticed a resemblance between Mr. Cameron and the former Russian ruler after seeing a 1794 Catherine II oil painting by Austrian artist Johann Baptist von Lampi I on a visit to a museum in Berlin, Germany.

She posted on Twitter: “This painting of an 18th century woman totally looks like David Cameron in drag.”

The Lemon Press Editor’s remark, which was yesterday retweeted 2,500 times, attracted national newspaper attention – even making page 3 of the Daily Mail.

But now it has emerged that the satirical writer helped uncover a shocking historic political relation which could explain why the two look so similar.

According to the Spectator, who enlisted the help of a genealogy expert, the Prime Minister and former Empress are “second cousins nine generations removed.”

In 2010, it was revealed that King William IV was the great, great, great, great, great grandfather of David Cameron.

However, the paper says that this family link is via the former King’s grandfather who was the father of George III and a second cousin of Catherine the Great.

Sophie Gadd today told Vision how the discovery of the Prime Minister’s tie with the Russian monarch made the situation “stranger”.

“It [the media coverage] all feels a bit surreal. I posted the picture thinking it would get a few retweets, not at all expecting it to go viral,” she said.

“The fact that he is related is even stranger, I didn’t notice who the painting was when I tweeted it. I just thought it was a funny coincidental likeness!

“It was especially bizarre hearing my name on Sky News and LBC, and seeing it in the papers.”

Jack Gevertz
Jack Gevertz is the former editor-in-chief of York Vision.