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Press Release | Weird

Press Release: Kate Middleton and Prince William are third cousins, says facial data software

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As a publicity promotion to prove their new program's ability to identify blood relatives through measurements of facial data, a software company has come across an unexpected result.

Entering a selection of thousands of celebrity photos containing a small number of known relatives and family members, the FaceArt software correctly detected all the related individuals. However, it also identified many public figures not known to be close relatives of one another, including England's Prince William and Kate Middleton. The pair have dated on and off for years, and are often said to be nearing an engagement. Middleton is referred to as a commoner, without "royal blood".

According to the software, however, they are third cousins, as William's great-great-uncle Edward VIII shows a direct match for the lower two-thirds of Middleton's face, as well as her features being an overall match with the Mountbatten side of William's family, implying even more connections between William's grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, who are third cousins themselves, than are publicly acknowledged.

The company is downplaying any cultural importance to the result, suggesting that the British Royal Family has probably just chosen to be discreet about continuing its historic practice of cousin marriages by labeling all of Prince William's potential girlfriends as unrelated commoners, rather than admit to the many adulterous pregnancies within the British aristocracy, as well as their old-fashioned and currently unpopular belief in arranged marriages based on bloodline.

Counting on the unexpected result to boost interest in their product, FaceArt denies that the system is prone to mistakes or false-positives. They've spent years in development to rule out that possibility, running trials with photos of unrelated persons selected for their virtually identical appearances. Promoted as an aid to genealogists and law enforcement, the company denies the software was developed to "out" families with hidden inbreeding, citing their own failure to design it to specify multiple lines of descent in a single person.

However, they're obviously counting on the potential entertainment factor of their first run-through to guarantee a speedy return on their investment.


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