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

75 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    * English (father)
    * Scottish, Welsh (mother)

  2. neiltennant says:

    She is not the typical british girl

    i looked at so many discussions and every time some speaks about the so called DARK BRITS Cheryl Cole, Vic Beckham and Keira Knightley are mentioned !

    but this is not very accurate and reliable

    i was in Britain years and years again and never seen Brits with that dark features without having Italian, Sephardic Jewish or other varieties

    therefore I think there must be more research in the ethnic background of those mentioned people

    • stonelord says:

      I live in Britain and many, many people are dark haired and dark eyed, especially in the west (Cornwall, Devon) and in Wales, though you can find the type anywhere. I am myself and most of my family through several generations

      • gel says:

        You said you were Irish before.

      • ses101 says:

        Why ask 100 Chinese people – do you think they would know better than actual BRITISH people? I’m from Scotland and I wouldn’t look at her and think she’s foreign. As I said elsewhere it wouldn’t surprise me if she has a little foreign blood, but it doesn’t scream in your face.

    • athelya says:

      dark brits exist specially south of london and the south in general.. kit harrington, orlando bloom, keira, emma watson are all very much british and imo the more attractive kind of brits

  3. undashing says:

    Yes, she looks like a typical British girl.

    • Capricious says:

      Yep. Brits can have dark hair and dark eyes.

      But Cheryl Cole (also with these features) is a suspicious one. She looks nothing like a full blown Brit.

      • neiltennant says:


        thats nonsense to talk about DARK BRITS and having only 2-3 people whose ancestry is not documented

        what if cheryl coles mother who looks rather asian had been adopted or his grandpa or grandma had a relationship with asians ?

        or when people are lying about ethnicity


        • Capricious says:

          Cheryl Cole is a bad argument here. Everyone would agree that she is NOT a full Brit. She’s hiding something.

          But Knightly, Bloom, Sean Connery and Victoria Beckham can still pass as Brits.

          Especially Knightly.

  4. The Beautiful Ones says:


  5. neiltennant says:

    she looks like a painting so wonderful face

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