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 known for her films Pirates of the Caribbean, Love Actually, King Arthur (2004), Domino, Pride & Prejudice, Never Let Me Go, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Anna Karenina (2012), The Imitation Game, and Silent Night (2021), and television’s Doctor Zhivago (2002), among other works.

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 two children.

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 Knightley (the son of Frederick William Knightley and Caroline Margaret Pepper). Keira’s grandfather William was born in West Ham, Essex, England. 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 –

Marriage record of Keira’s paternal grandparents, William Knightley and Violet Grace Jones –

Death record of Keira’s paternal grandmother, Violet Grace (Jones) Knightley –

Article about Keira’s mother’s family –


Curious about ethnicity

81 Responses

  1. Marvin says:

    your face is strange
    she looks like if she had mediterranean roots, like spanish or italian
    she dont have blue or green eyes
    she sometimes looks like asian

    she is similar to catherine zeta jones that also looks like mediterranean girl

  2. jackson9 says:

    Paternal grandmother: Violet Grace Jones (1907-1997), Woolwich, London was the daughter of Herbert William Ashton Jones (1868-1930) and Harriet Ann Hogg (1869-1937). Herbert was the son of William Ashton Jones and Fanny Jones. Harriet was the daughter of Robert Samuel Hogg (1833-1881) and Elizabeth Mary Ann Johnson (1834-1917). Violet Grace Jones was for the most part 100% English ancestry.

  3. Yesterday says:

    Dark eyes and pale skin = exotic and not possibly British?

    People here are moronic.

    • Preservationist says:

      Many of the British (English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish are dark- skinned and favor her sort of looks. She’s not Continental European at all. She’s proud to be 100% British Isles. What you wrote is rather “moronic”.

  4. Yesterday says:

    What a lie.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.