Pop sensation Taylor Swift is performing at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Friday, Saturday and Sunday ahead of dates in Liverpool, Cardiff and London.

The star will make a rare visit north of the border as part of her Eras Tour, which is projected to bring in over $1bn in ticket sales, and despite her not visiting fair Caledonia very often it'll be a homecoming of sorts.

The 33-year-old has spoken in the past about her Scottish ancestry, and it seems she may actually be of royal blood, a descendent of the House of Dunkeld which sparked a succession crisis when the only legitimate heir to the throne died.

Swift played Glasgow’s Hydro in 2015 as part of her 1989 tour, the only occasion up to now that she’s performed in Scotland.

Explaining to the crowd that she’d received an email from her dad before the show she said: “In the subject line it said ‘tell Scotland this’, and in the email he said ‘our whole family is from Scotland and you have to tell them that’.”

That same year it was even rumoured that Swift was set to buy a castle, the Tower of Lethendy north of Perth, but the singer quickly shot it down on social media using a line from one of her songs, ‘New Romantics’.

The Herald:

As it turns out the putative purchase may well have been entirely appropriate, as it appears the 33-year-old can trace her roots back to Scottish King William the Lion.

The monarch, of the House of Dunkeld, ruled from 1165 to 1214, and while records are patchy - and, let's face it, not the most reliable given most people couldn't read or write - it appears he could be 26th great-grandfather of the pop superstar.

The House of Dunkeld ended in 1290 when Margaret Maid of Norway died aged seven in Orkney.

She was the last legitimate descendent of William the Lion but, as she was never crowned, historians are split on whether she can be considered Queen of Scots.

Isabella MacWilliam was the illegitimate daughter of William, who fathered her with an unknown daughter of Robert Avenel.

She would go on to marry Robert de Ros, one of the twenty-five barons appointed under clause 61 of the 1215 Magna Carta agreement and whose great-grandson would attempt to claim the throne when Margaret died.

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With 13 pretenders to the throne, Edward I of England was asked to arbitrate and did so, picking John Balliol before later forcing him to resign and attempting to annex the Kingdom of Scotland, which led to the first War of Independence.

But what if things had gone differently and De Ros, a direct descendant of William the Lion, had been able to take the throne? Would we now be honouring Queen Taylor of Swift? Well, maybe.

Though he was denied the throne, the De Ros family name continued down to Lucy de Ros, who married Sir Robert de Plumpton some time before 1297. They had a son, Sir William de Plumpton, and a granddaughter, Alice Plumpton, who married Sir Richard de Cherburne.

After four generations of Cherburnes, Agnes Cherburne married a Henry Rushton – at least according to Gary Boyd Roberts’ The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies of the United States.

Their great-granddaughter, also named Agnes, married a Richard Worthington whose grand-daughter Isabel married a man named Robert Worden.

The Herald: Is Taylor Swift the true heir to the throne of Scotland?Is Taylor Swift the true heir to the throne of Scotland? (Image: Newsquest)

Their great-granddaughter, Mary, was married to John Burgess on 8 Sep 1657 in Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Lydia Burgess, Swift’s sixth great-grandmother, was wed to a Salmon Kingsley on 24 Jan 1743, in Windham Connecticut, and her great-great-granddaughter, Barbara Maria Jane Kinglsey, born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania on 20 Sep 1857, married Willis Wilbur Thompson.

They had two children, Margia A Thompson and Bernice Maude Thompson – the latter of whom married Archie Dean Swift, the American singer’s great-grandfather and, therefore, it appears Taylor is a very, very distant relative of William the Lion.

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The Swift name is British in origin and dates back to William Swift (sometimes Swyft) a native of Bocking in Essex in 1634 who emigrated to America having been a leather merchant in London. He would be the singer’s eighth great-grandfather.

In a further possible Scottish connection, the singer’s paternal grandmother was a Rose Baldi-Douglas, the daughter of Charles Gwynn Douglas and Eurindine Baldi. The Baldi family can trace their ancestry back to Salerno, Italy but the Douglas family line stops with Ben Douglas, a railway worker who was born around 1830 in New Jersey but whose parents’ names are not listed on the 1880 Federal Census (in which he spells his name Douglass) which contains that information.

The Herald:

However, the name Douglas is a Scottish one, thought to derive from the Gaelic dubh glas, meaning "black stream", so it’s likely that the family was of Caledonian descent.

The superstar also has Scottish heritage on her mother’s side.

Her great-great grandfather was a George Finlay who, according to his son’s marriage record, was born somewhere in Scotland in around 1850.

That son, Lancelot George Finlay, was born in Southampton but later moved to America where he married Eleanor Mayer on 27 Nov 1917 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Their son, Robert Bruce, married Marjorie Moehlenkamp: Swift’s maternal grandmother for whom she wrote a song, ‘Marjorie’, on her 2020 album Folklore.

Will Taylor Swift look to establish her claim to the throne when she visits Murrayfield? Will the Swifties rise up like the Jacobites? Unlikely, but as the woman herself sang on the last track of Speak Now: “Bring on all the pretenders, I’m not afraid”.

Taylor, Queen of Scots, in song

  • "Salute to me, I'm your American queen" - 'King of My Heart', Reputation
  • "You were my crown, now I'm in exile seeing you out" - 'Exile', folklore
  • "My castle crumbled overnight/I brought a knife to a gunfight/They took the crown, but it's alright" - 'Call It What You Want', Reputation
  • "We are the king and the queens/You traded your baseball cap for a crown" - 'Long Live', Speak Now
  • "Now he sits on his throne in his palace of bones, praying to his greed" - 'It's Time To Go', folklore
  • "All the kingdom lights shine just for me and you" - 'Long Live', Speak Now
  • "Stick with me, I'm your queen" - 'London Boy', Lover
  • "You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess" - 'Love Story', Fearless
  • "I don't like your kingdom keys/they once belonged to me" - 'Look What You Made Me Do', Reputation
  • "You're the king baby, I'm your queen" - 'Blank Space', 1989
  • "My only one/my kingdom come undone" - 'Hoax', Folklore