Keira Knightley

Knightley in 2011, photo by Featureflash /

Birth Name: Keira Christina Knightley

Place of Birth: Richmond Upon Thames, Surrey, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 26 March, 1985

Ethnicity: English, Scottish, Welsh

Keira Knightley is a British actress. She is famous for starring in the film Bend It Like Beckham, and the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, among many other roles.

Keira is the daughter of actress and playwright Sharman MacDonald and actor Will Knightley (Kevin William Knightley). Her father is English. Her mother, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland, is of Scottish and Welsh ancestry. Her brother, Caleb Knightley, has also worked in film. Keira is married to musician James Righton, with whom she has a daughter.

She was meant to be named Kiera, after Russian figure skater Kira Ivanova. Her mother misspelt the name when registering her birth.

Keira’s paternal grandfather was William Francis Knightley (the son of Frederick William Knightley and Caroline Margaret Pepper). Frederick was the son of Charles Knightley and Sarah Ann Astle. Caroline was the daughter of John Pepper and Bridget.

Keira’s paternal grandmother was named Violet Grace Jones.

Keira’s maternal grandfather was Joseph Henry Hosgood MacDonald (the son of William Hearson H. MacDonald and Mary McDonald). Joseph was born in England, and had Scottish ancestry.

Keira’s maternal grandmother was named Janet Rewat Williams. Janet had Welsh ancestry.

Sources: Genealogies of Keira Knightley –

Article about Keira’s mother’s family –


Curious about ethnicity

76 Responses

  1. RadDaddy says:

    Keira looks like an anorexic English woman to me.
    Not exactly sure what people think English, Scottish, Welsh, are supposed to look like?
    I can tell you for sure that the Welsh in particular have a large percentage of people that are quite “southern European” looking and so do the Scottish.
    Keira Knightley does bear a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman, but Natalie Portman also bears a striking resemblance to Polish actress Michalina Olszanska.–hd-movies-movies-free.jpg
    I would call this general look pretty Pan-European.

    Keira looks nothing like Queen Rania of Jordan, a woman that has obvious signs of rhinoplasty, cheek implants and a chin correction surgery.
    Here is a before and after picture.–plastic-surgery-photos-nose-jobs.jpg?b=t

  2. neiltennant says:

    She is definitely not only BRITISH

    she is way too dark for a brit

    every brit with that look has spanish, iranian, jewish or egyptian roots

    for example JASMIN LE BON

    she has the same look and has iranian blood

  3. andrew says:

    Considering her brother’s wedding, Scottish heritage is something important in her family

  4. lelo4 says:

    She looks like a typical woman from Spain or Portugal, not just coloring but feature-wise.

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