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Mookie Betts meets his distant relative, Meghan Markle

Mookie Betts and Meghan Markle hugged before the start of Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees game in London.Major League Baseball

LONDON — Mookie Betts met one of his relatives for the first time before the Red Sox and Yankees played at London Stadium on Saturday.

It was Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and they shared a hug.

It all came about because of a Globe story published on May 7, 2018, that revealed Betts and Markle are distantly related.

Jim McNiff, an amateur genealogist from Burlington, Mass., discovered the link between Betts and actress Meghan Markle, who was engaged to Prince Harry at the time. It went back to ancestors 150 years ago in Alabama.

They also had a connection via a 1920 marriage between Betts’s great uncle and Markle’s great-great aunt.


Betts found the story amusing at the time and wondered if he might meet Markle when the Sox played in London.

It actually happened. The royal couple visited both teams in their clubhouses before the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 17-13.

“I didn’t know she was coming. I knew [Prince Harry] was coming,” Betts said. “I told her about the story and she laughed and gave me a hug. She didn’t know about it. They probably didn’t believe it.”

But McNiff has the proof, tracing their family trees back for generations.

“It’s pretty cool it happened,” Betts said. “I didn’t think I’d ever meet her, but I did.”

Both teams presented the royals with a gift for their first child, 7-week-old Archie. He now has a Red Sox onesie and a Yankees onesie.

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.