Millions of us have blue blood in our veins, it has been claimed, with as many as one in five Britons descended from the aristocracy.

Genealogists believe that the upper class were so philandering in their ways that many more of us are related to them than previously thought.

The claims have been made as part of a joint project by the National Trust the online genealogy website Ancestry.co.uk to help members trace their roots.

The Trust hopes that many Britons will discover they are descendants of earls and dukes who once inhabited its various stately homes - and therefore feel obliged to make a visit.

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