A dispute over a title has led to Queen Elizabeth II asking England's highest court to determine if DNA evidence may be used to clarify lineage. An unpleasant side effect may be that she is not the rightful heir to the throne.
In the United Kingdom, titles have been passed down for generations and are part of history and culture. Disputes over titles were settled by wars in the past, but today they are more likely to be resolved by science.
A current dispute started innocently enough with a family tree project and the Clan Pringle DNA project. DNA evidence revealed that the last holder of the Pringle of Stichell Baronet was not actually descended from the family bloodline. Thus began a fight over the title between two branches of the family.
The Queen has asked Britain’s Supreme Court to decide whether DNA evidence can be used in the case to determine to whom the title rightfully belongs.
Even though we do not have hereditary titles in the United States, if the court allows DNA evidence to be used, then it is possible it could be used to prove whether or not a Utah attorney is actually the true king through descent from George IV.
It could also possibly be used against the Queen in another way. She claims her ancestry back to Henry VII. His claim to a Royal bloodline came through John of Gaunt, the son of Edward III. However, historians have speculated that John was actually the child of an adulterous affair between Edward's wife and another man.
Reference: Daily Mail (October 11, 2015) "Who's the real aristocrat? Queen demands DNA to be tested in court to settle dispute over 330-year-old baronet title (...but could ruling mean a Utah Mormon is our king?)."